Is repentance a condition of forgiveness?
Matthew 18:21-35. Not seven times but seventy-seven times
If forgiveness is a form of love, and love should be unconditional, should we forgive unconditionally, as in give forgiveness without the offender repenting first?
Perhaps the practical answer is to at least dignify the person of the offender and not be overcome with feelings of revenge and spitefulness. In a sense, maybe this could be construed as a minimum level of loving another. Part of the kind of dignifying and loving we extend could be providing opportunities for repentance.
Perhaps forgiving unconditionally is not necessarily absolving the offender of his sins (only God could do so), but rather it is (1) letting go of vengeful behavior and (2) providing the offender opportunities for repentance.
The dance between forgiveness, justice, and mercy is very complex to manage. Insight and wisdom should be granted to us when we have to play the role of a human judge.
[DAILY GOSPEL INSIGHTS AND REFLECTION FOR MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION 81: MARCH 22, 2022]