Gospel: Matthew 18:21‐35
Peter approached Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but 77 times. 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. 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.
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. So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.”
As we journey through another Lenten Season, we use this time to reflect upon our actions and grow closer to God. In the passage, Jesus tells Peter that he must forgive those who have sinned against him 77 times; as in the story when the king forgave his servant of the debts he owed him.
In today’s time we are aware that together we are not perfect; we make mistakes, lie, and act against God’s will. In the past I have made mistakes that I am not proud of. Every time I have gone to confession I have felt God’s mercy on me as I asked for forgiveness.
Although we obtain God’s forgiveness from going to confession, we still have the problem of forgiving others for sins they have made against us; like the servant as he could not forgive the other servant for the debt he owed. It is different when someone hurts us and then asks for forgiveness; we wonder why we should trust them again.
Why we should open ourselves up again if there is the possibility of being mistreated once again, but the situation is the same with God. Why should God continue to give us his love and forgiveness when we as humans continue to make mistakes? I may never understand the answer because I may never be able to fathom God’s unconditional love for us.
It is in God’s forgiveness that I find the inspiration and ability to forgive those who have hurt me.
Madison Harmon, 18, St. Patrick’s Parish, Kankakee
VYC delegate, 2012
- In an effort to grow closer to God in this Lenten Season, I am working on forgiving those who have wronged me just as God forgives me.
- The Viatorians are important to me because they are a huge community of people that love and accept us for who we are. I hope to be able to absorb that quality and send it forth through my school and home life.