“Pay back what you owe.”      Matthew 18:27

Paying back what we owe and paying forward what we have been given are stark Lenten lessons. Essentially, says Jesus, when forgiveness is extended,  we should then extend it to others. Unfortunately, we do not live in such high altruism. Each day we are surrounded by cultural messages that glorify individualism, proclaiming that if we just take care of ourselves, all economic woes will go away. But the result is a kind of stinginess that translates over into all aspects of our lives.  In the end, we are told by Jesus, the pay back of eternal life depends not on how well we have taken care of ourselves but on how willing we have been to lay down our lives for others.