Reflection on Scripture Twenty-third Sunday Gospel A Forgiveness from the heart

By 10:48 AM

Twenty-Third Sunday A Gospel    

Then Peter approaching asked him, "Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?" 

· Peter thinks he is generous by saying “seven times,” since the religious standard of those days was three. 

Jesus answered, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. 

· What is demanded of a disciple of Christ is limitless forgiveness. The obvious reason is that is how God treats us. If God treated us the way we would want to treat others, what will our life be like?

· Which is harder: to receive forgiveness or to give forgiveness?

· Does forgiveness depend on who the person is or what was done?

That is why the kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount. Since he had no way of paying it back, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, his children, and all his property, in payment of the debt. At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’ Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan.

· Compare this to God’s generous mercy to you.  Look at what you have done in your life and look at what God has done in response. Is there any comparison?

When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller amount. He seized him and started to choke him, demanding, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ But he refused. Instead, he had him put in prison until he paid back the debt. 

· Have I in the past refused to forgive others even though God has forgiven me much more? Why the double standard?

· Have others refused to forgive me when God has forgiven them?

Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master and reported the whole affair. 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 until he should pay back the whole debt. 

· Earlier the person experienced the mercy of God. Now he receives the justice of God. Do we want God’s mercy or his justice?

So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.” 

· How have you experienced God’s forgiveness in your life? How have you responded to his forgiveness?

· Notice Jesus specifies the source of the forgiveness: “from the heart.” This means that it is true, sincere, and total.

· How should our life be impacted in the future as a result of this teaching?


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