READINGS for 2006-08-17

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



"Not seven times, but seventy-seven times.? ? Matthew18: 22

I have a son in pre-school and a daughter who?s just starting grade school. Adorable kids and I love them dearly. But like many kids their age, they can be roguish at times and really try your patience. Once they realize they have been misbehaving again, they would come up to me and say ?Daddy, sorry.? After a quick admonition and a tight hug, all is well and forgiven. And no matter how many times they misbehave, those two words always get them off the hook.
    Forgiving those who offend us may not be as easy as forgiving little children. Yet Jesus clearly tells us we are called to forgive others as often as it is necessary. Many times we find it difficult to forgive not so much because of the gravity of the offense but because our ego, our pride, our self-esteem has been pricked.
    Remember, the Bible says that pride is the reservoir of sin (Sirach 10:13).
    Maybe if we start seeing those who offend us as God?s children it?ll be easier to forgive them. We might even give them a hug for good measure. Erwin R.

When someone offends you, look beyond the offense that you may see the person.

Lord, grant me the grace that I may do the same to those that wrong me, regardless of their offense. Amen.



Ezekiel 12:1-12

Ezekiel?s prophecies are often portrayed to the people in dramatic form. This can be a very effective change from mere words ? a picture is as good as a thousand words. Yet, it seems to have had little effect upon the people. He tells us at the beginning of the reading that the people have eyes but do not see. It is not that they cannot see, but that they do not see. Therefore the fault is in the will of the people ? they choose not to see what God wants them to do. This deliberate ignorance will be no excuse when time comes for the consequence of their actions to be revealed to them.

1 Thus the word of the LORD came to me: 2 Son of man, you live in the midst of a rebellious house; they have eyes to see but do not see, and ears to hear but do not hear, for they are a rebellious house. 3 Now, son of man, during the day while they are looking on, prepare your baggage as though for exile, and again while they are looking on, migrate from where you live to another place; perhaps they will see that they are a rebellious house. 4 You shall bring out your baggage like an exile in the daytime while they are looking on; in the evening, again while they are looking on, you shall go out like one of those driven into exile; 5 while they look on, dig a hole in the wall and pass through it; 6 while they look on, shoulder the burden and set out in the darkness; cover your face that you may not see the land, for I have made you a sign for the house of Israel. 7 I did as I was told. During the day I brought out my baggage as though it were that of an exile, and at evening I dug a hole through the wall with my hand and, while they looked on, set out in the darkness, shouldering my burden. 8 Then, in the morning, the word of the LORD came to me 9 Son of man, did not the house of Israel, that rebellious house, ask you what you were doing? 10 Tell them: Thus says the Lord GOD: This oracle concerns Jerusalem and the whole house of Israel within it. 11 I am a sign for you as I have done, so shall it be done to them; as captives they shall go into exile. 12 The prince who is among them shall shoulder his burden and set out in darkness, going through a hole that he has dug in the wall, and covering his face lest he be seen by anyone.


Psalm 78:56-57, 58-59, 61-62

R: Do not forget the works of the Lord!

56 They tempted and rebelled against God the Most High, and kept not his decrees. 57 They turned back and were faithless like their fathers; they recoiled like a treacherous bow. (R) 58 They angered him with their high places and with their idols roused his jealousy. 59 God heard and was enraged and utterly rejected Israel. (R) 61 And he surrendered his strength into captivity, his glory into the hands of the foe. 62 He abandoned his people to the sword and was enraged against his inheritance. (R)


Matthew 18:21-19:1

Forgiveness can be a very prickly issue for some people as the sins against them have been terrible. However, the size of the sin is irrelevant when it comes to the principle of forgiveness. Unless we forgive the sins of others against us we, too, will suffer bondage with the resentment and bitterness we harbor in our hearts. They will weigh us down and cause us to be miserable. It is for our own good that we pray for the grace to forgive others and we can be sure that God will always give us the grace necessary to do this.

21 Then Peter approaching asked him, ?Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?? 22 Jesus answered, ?I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. 23 That is why the kingdom of  heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount. 25 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. 26 At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, ?Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.? 27 Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan. 28 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.? 29 Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him, ?Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.? 30 But he refused. Instead, he had him put in prison until he paid back the debt. 31 Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master and reported the whole affair. 32 His master summoned him and said to him, ?You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. 33 Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?? 34 Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt. 35 So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his  heart.? 19: 1 When Jesus finished these words, he left Galilee and went to the district of Judea across the Jordan.

my reflections
think: It is not that we cannot see, but that we choose not to see.



God?s special verse/thought for me today________________


Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________





?To forgive is to forget? is an overly romanticized saying. It is a confusing clich?. To forgive is to forget?what? That we have been hurt? If forgetting comes before forgiving, then how can we forgive when we do not remember what has to be forgiven? If forgetting comes after forgiving, then how do we learn from the wrong that has been forgiven? If forgetting comes with forgiving, forgetting does not necessarily mean forgiving.
      ?To forgive is to forget,? is not always true and did not come from Jesus. What Jesus said is rather clear: ?Forgive seventy times seven.? Since seven is a perfect number for the Jews, Jesus meant we must forgive each time there is a need for us to forgive. Jesus neither implied nor directly stated that to forgive is to forget.
      To forgive is to remember. It is to remember that we hurt others just as others hurt us. It is to remember that we need forgiveness from others just as others need our forgiveness. It is to remember that we are forgiven so we may forgive.
      It is to remember that God forgives us all regardless how grave and frequent our sins. It is to remember that God is Father of us all and that we are all brothers and sisters. It is to remember that not to forgive is not to be forgiven by our Father in heaven. Forgiveness flows from remembering, happens because of remembering, becomes grace through remembering.
      When St. Paul wrote, ?Love keeps no record of wrong,? he meant that love transcends the wrong done. He implied remembering because how can love transcend what does not exist even in memory? To transcend is not to forget but to transform moments of pain into moments of growth.
      When Jesus rose from the dead, He still bore the marks of the wounds our sins inflicted on Him. Even now in heaven, Jesus, even in His glorified Body, bears the same reminder of our transgressions. Say again please? His resurrection did not erase the image of His crucifixion. Rather, His resurrection highlighted even more the grace of His cross. It is in the light of the Resurrection that the Crucifixion should be understood and can have meaning in our lives.
      Jesus remembers. He does. And so He forgives. Fr. Bobby T.

?To forgive is to forget? ? what do I say?

Lord, You are merciful. May we be merciful to one another. You remember to forgive us. May we remember You to forgive one another. If to forgive is to forget, Lord, may we forget our selves so as to forgive one another in the same manner that You forgot Your self when You forgave us on the cross. Amen. 

St. Hyacinth, confessor, pray for us.

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