There are times when we feel we are accomplishing very little with our lives. We get "down" on ourselves, and appreciate any "upper" that might give us a sense of our dignity and worth.
We have such help in today’s biblical readings. The prophet Ezekiel is trying to impress on his fellow Jews the enormity of their offenses against God (a back-handed way of letting them know that they are capable of "great" things–unfortunately so) by engaging in a series of symbolic actions. They all center on his mimicking an exile-in-process–a foretaste of the affliction God has in store for them, unless they "shape up".
And Jesus adds to this magnifying of our exploits in terms of our ability to forgive. Using hyperbole, he responds to a questioner that we should be ready to forgive another 77 times, just as God does us. He illustrates this in two ways: first, by a magnificent gesture on the part of an offended person (representing God), then, by a mean, small-minded refusal of a similar gesture on the part of another.
Our capacity for great things, whether evil (exile-deserving sin) or good (generosity in forgiving), finds expression in the deed of Maximilian Kolbe, who voluntarily gave his life to save that of a family man while both were imprisoned at Auschwitz, during WW II.
Greatness lies within our reach, and is the basis of our dignity. Made in God’s image, we mirror His greatness, and so share in His dignity.