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What is expected of us in relationship?

This week we hear Jesus likening servants who work in the field with crops and livestock to the disciples work of forgiveness in their relationships. In the story immediately preceding this week's gospel Jesus tells the disciples that even if someone does the same thing to them seven times in a day, if they repent seven times, they are to forgive them seven times. He then tells them that they are like servants who have been tasked with "plowing or tending sheep in the field" and who come in after that work asking for a reward, and to be served by the owner of the estate. The servants in this metaphor have not come in from planting, harvesting, sheering, or milking. They have not come in from something that will increase the abundance of the household. Instead they have done the work of maintaining the fields and sheep for abundance in the future. This is what Jesus likens to the disciples forgiving seven time in the same day. Forgiveness, in this teaching from Jesus, is not some extraordinary impossible feet. It is not the ultimate work of discipleship. Instead it is the baseline, the foundational maintaining work of relationship which keeps the conditions suitable for growth in the future. What are the relationships in your life that are being neglected? Where does forgiveness need to take place? What might grow from that freshly tilled soil in the future?

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