Pentecost +19 - Year C
[verse 4] "You must forgive!" ~ Jesus [4 BCE - ?]
[verse 5] In response to this dicta, Jesus' friends responded with equal intensity, "Increase our trust!" (our ability to persistently forgive before, during, and after repentance has been requested).
[verse 6] If we are not careful what follows is seen only in terms of religious jargon regarding "faith." In light of the action of forgiveness, we only "do what we ought to do" when we forgive. The mulberry talk and slave/master imagery can take us pretty far afield if they are not linked more closely than the NRSV heading of this section, "Some Sayings of Jesus". These might be isolated sayings but these sayings take on greater significance if they are recognized as reordering our community life. This reordering is very difficult work for the injuries and difficulties we want to heal are so deeply rooted and grow back so quickly that we need to practice the trust involved with forgiveness and, then, practice it some more.