Gospel: (Matthew 18:21-35)
Peter approached Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. That is why the kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants….a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount…Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan. When the servant left, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller amount…he had the fellow servant put in prison until he paid back the debt. His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you? Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers…So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives your brother or sister from your heart.
Forgiving another-not focusing on our hurt or the other’s transgression but on the lovableness of the other-is so difficult! The challenge of this gospel is to forget how others have behaved toward us and look to God’s way of loving and forgiving us. Our focus must be on God. Without God’s example we probably couldn’t forgive very well. The challenge is to forget about ourselves so we can reach out to the other. (Living Liturgy, p. 236)
“Because Jesus took our misery upon Himself, it is only reasonable that we should follow and imitate His holy, human life….Filled with consolation and happiness at the thought of being accepted by Him to live my entire life as His follower, I resolved that in everything, particularly in uncertain or questionable circumstances, I would consider what Jesus would have done…All the actions and the entire life of the Son of God are only for our example and instruction…”- St. Louise de Marillac- (Gibson and Kneaves, Praying with Louise, p. 55)
Discussion: (Share your thoughts on the readings after a moment of silence)
Jesus told us that we must forgive others “from our heart.” Who needs your forgiveness?
Come, Lord of Healing and Unity, we are in need of Your divine help,
-help us to find a way to peace and understanding.
Let our hearts be ready to see Your way of loving and forgiving.
-may we be servants of pardon and make us as forgiving as You. Amen