Years ago, I visited Las Vegas, and learned the importance of seven in gambling. Depending on the game, seven makes you a winner or loser. Biblically however, seven carries far greater meaning; namely, fullness or perfection. For example, John addresses his book on Revelation to seven churches, hears a voice from seven golden lampstands, and a man holding seven stars in his hands. In today’s gospel, Peter asks Jesus whether he must forgive a person seven times. Jesus responds, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy times seven  times.” Plainly, Jesus tells us to forgive absolutely everyone forever. How you express your  forgiveness is your decision but Jesus will not allow vengeance or derision to blemish the courageous beauty of your forgiveness.

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