Perhaps the most profound lesson my parents ever taught me, especially my dad, was that personal failure is redeemed in genuine repentance: "Have mercy on me," "Forgive me," or "I'm sorry." The heart these words reflect reconcile God and Man, my life with yours. They are indispensable in my life as a father and a husband, as a son and a brother, as a friend and a neighbor.
And as we are in great need of mercy, so we must also be vehicles of great mercy: We must forgive others. The parable of the Unmerciful Servant should be the filter through which all we say and do passes, remembering always what great debt we have been forgiven. It is not incumbent upon us Christians to show anyone what justice looks like. Everyone knows justice; it is written in our bones. We are called to show our neighbor what mercy looks like. Mercy, that outweighs justice. Mercy, that creates just people. Mercy, that leads to repentance. Mercy, that re-creates the cosmos. And if we fail to show mercy to those around us - those who offend, those who curse, those who persecute, those who terrorize, those who ridicule, those who kill, those who slight - then what mercy will there be for us?