Posted: 17 Mar 2009 12:00 AM PDT
Dn 3:25,34-43 / Mt 18:21-35
One of the key things that children learn as they grow up is the value of fairness, the importance of playing by the rules and making sure that each person gets his fair share and nobody gets cheated. How often on the playground or the classroom or at home, we hear the outraged cry of one of our children saying, “That’s not fair.”
A deep-seated sense of fairness is crucial both to lasting relationships and to a decent society, but it’s not enough. Nevertheless, too many of us get stuck at the justice and fairness stage, and never move up to the next step. In confronting one another’s faults, we find ourselves too often thinking more like accountants than friends: “Pay what you owe,” we say, as if we ourselves were able to pay all we owe! But, of course, we cannot.
Every last one of us is dependent upon the Lord and upon our friends being willing not to address us with an accountant’s ledger in hand, but to look at us with the same understanding that a good parent looks at a child who’s just learning how to do the simplest things.
Jesus is very clear about this: Throw away your ledgers and your accountant’s hat, and think like a parent who never gives up loving and hoping for the child. It’s the only way to live, and a much happier way to live. And it will get your own heart wide open to receive all the forgiveness and understanding that you need.