READINGS for 2008-02-26
“Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?” – Matthew 18:33
When I am betrayed, hurt or offended by someone, especially by a loved one, mercy would be the last thing on my mind.
Have you experienced getting shoved against the wall while appeasing someone with a volatile temper? Or losing a friend because of an unpaid debt that someone else was responsible for? Or helplessly watching someone you love drown in addiction? Or not get paid by your client for work you rendered? I have.
To forgive those who did these to me is difficult. It’s an ongoing, day-to-day process that’ll take sometime for me to perfect. So I began by taking the first step. I decided to forgive — in spite of the lingering hurt and sans any apology. I want to forgive, by the Lord’s grace. And I pray every day for the grace to come full circle in my forgiveness. So that the Lord can set me (and my “offenders”) free. After all, Jesus showed mercy to undeserving sinners like me, when while on the Cross He prayed, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
How could I not but try to do the same? Dina Pecaña
Divine mercy received must be mercy shared.
Forgive me, Lord, as I forgive those who hurt me.
There have been times in history when the earthly leaders of the Church failed in their responsibility to care for the People of God. God never abandoned His people as we can see by the continuous witness of the lives of the saints at these times. Human beings can be very fickle in their responses to the grace of God and, unfortunately, this can have a bearing in the lives of others.
Daniel 3:25, 34-43 (or Prayer of Azariah)
2 [Dan 3:25] In the fire Azariah stood up and prayed aloud: 11 [Dan 3:34] “For your name’s sake, do not deliver us up forever, or make void your covenant. 12 [Dan 3:35] Do not take away your mercy from us, for the sake of Abraham, your beloved, Isaac your servant, and Israel your holy one, 13 [Dan 3:36] to whom you promised to multiply their offspring like the stars of heaven, or the sand on the shore of the sea. 14 [Dan 3:37] For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation, brought low everywhere in the world this day because of our sins. 15 [Dan 3:38] We have in our day no prince, prophet, or leader, no holocaust, sacrifice, oblation, or incense, no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you. 16 [Dan 3:39] But with contrite heart and humble spirit let us be received; 17 [Dan 3:40] as though it were holocausts of rams and bullocks, or thousands of fat lambs, so let our sacrifice be in your presence today as we follow you unreservedly; for those who trust in you cannot be put to shame. 18 [Dan 3:41] And now we follow you with our whole heart, we fear you and we pray to you. 19 [Dan 3:42] Do not let us be put to shame, but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy. 20 [Dan 3:43] Deliver us by your wonders, and bring glory to your name, O Lord.”
P S A L M
Psalm 25:4-5ab, 6 and 7bc, 8 and 9
R: Remember your mercies, O Lord.
4 Your ways, O LORD, make known to me; teach me your paths, 5 guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my savior. (R) 6 Remember that your compassion, O LORD, and your kindness are from of old. 7 In your kindness remember me, because of your goodness, O LORD. (R) 8 Good and upright is the LORD; thus he shows sinners the way. 9 He guides the humble to justice, he teaches the humble his way. (R)
G O S P E L
Let us grow up and stop counting the times we have forgiven the sins of others toward us. We will never get anywhere close to ministering the amount of mercy God has shown us and we are just one person who has sinned against Him; there are many who have sinned against each one of us. It is useless to try and compare ourselves with God or outdo Him in mercy or love or generosity or any other virtue for that matter.
21 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.”
think: Let us grow up and stop counting the times we have forgiven the sins of others toward us.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Hebrews 1-4
forGive as Jesus forGives you
The parish priest in our reflection yesterday later on told us that the issue between him and his dejected church workers were eventually resolved. But he said that after having to bear the many heartaches that those people caused him, it took him quite a while to forgive them. Then he remembered what his former Spiritual Director told him, “Mas masakit pa ba ang dinanas mo sa dinanas ni Kristo at hindi ka makapagpatawad?”and “Mas mabigat ba yung ginawa nila laban sa ‘yo kaysa sa ginawa mo laban sa Diyos nuon?” Contrasting his pain with the pain that Christ endured for humanity, and, the sins that have been done to him with the sins he himself had done motivated him to see the light.
That is exactly what Jesus is trying to do in today’s gospel—He’s trying to make the man see the contrast of the debt that is owed to him to the debt that he himself owed. William Barclay quotes A.R.S. Kennedy in drawing up this vivid picture of the parable of the unforgiving servant: Suppose the servants were paid in sixpences. The 100 denarii debt that a fellow servant owed him could be carried in one pocket. The ten thousand talent debt that he owed his master would take an army of about 8,600 carriers, each carrying a sack of sixpences 60 pounds in weight; and they would form, at a distance of a yard apart, a line five miles long!
This contrast between the debts is incredible, and that is exactly what Jesus is trying to make us see. He is directing our attention to the immensity of our debt to God compared to whatever possible debt our fellow human beings can owe to us. The staggering contrast is really meant to make us feel ill at ease and thus make us think: what right have we to deny our forgiveness to those who have offended us, when our loving God whom we have offended enormously has never wavered in pardoning us? Fr. Sandy Enhaynes
Is there anyone you need to forgive? Forgive as you have been forgiven.
Merciful Lord, soften my hardened heart that I may forgive those who have hurt me the way You forgive me.
St. Isabel of France, pray for us.
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