This week, our readings address the basis of Christian forgiveness. Why do we forgive, when do we forgive, how many times do we forgive? It is easy to think of forgiveness as a side benefit of being a Christian, or as a gift of generosity we may give someone from the goodness of our soul, or as something we withhold until our sense of fairness is appeased. But forgiveness is not a side issue, it is at the core of our life in Christ, in all our relationships, and it flows not from us in our goodness, but from God, and an awareness of our need for it in our own lives. We have mercy because He had mercy and it is to God that we and our brothers and sisters in Christ are accountable, not to our own corrupted and insufficient sense of justice.