A pure gift is not given according to the logic of the Roman motto do ut des – “I give that you might give to me” – but rather in another sense: “I give because I have received.” Exact repayment is transformed into an attitude of free and unselfish giving-on to others. The clearest example of this is love. Love cannot be balanced out through justice; love exists only when it is not owed, when it is freely offered. This pure gift is the heart of creation, and for Christians, it’s more: it is the heart of the still greater redemption to come.

Divine forgiveness is an unconditional gift that invites us to respond in kind.