Readings are here.
I wrestle often with the question Peter asks about forgiveness. My experience is that people expect instant results if one forgives. The church makes one feel guilty if a person cannot forgive. Psychologists (pros and amateurs) tell us we will be the ones to benefit. But for me this just does not work. I need the acknowledgement of the wound and a time with my rage once I discover the depth of the wound to bring me back to myself and to give me strength to even move.
Today I read Jesus reply in a new way -- that the 77 times is not for 77 offenses but 77 times it may take before I can let the offense go and fully live into the future. Now I am reflecting on that and what it means for me. I know that the first step is acknowledging that the past cannot be changed, that the event happened and it was terrible for me and others. It was wrong and there is no changing that either. But with the idea that I can continue to let go even 77 times - somehow gives me hope that there is a day when it will no longer be fresh nor affecting my life. Like a broken bone - it may only ache when the weather changes - but I will be able to walk and run again.