Today’s readings are all about forgiveness. Azariah, in his prayer, says something quite beautiful: “Deal with us in your kindness and great mercy.” That should be our prayer also. And it’s God’s request of us, too — to deal with the people in our lives with great mercy. It’s like God puts PERSON X in our life and says, “Now deal with her in mercy.” Mercy is the most important, perhaps, of all the divine attributes. To not understand this aspect of God is to fail to understand him at all. If we fail to understand that, we might find ourselves imitating some punitive god of our own making.