Saturday, September 10, 2011
24TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – A
24TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – A
Sir 27:30—28:7 / Ps 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12 / Mt 18:21-35
Grudge and wrath, these also are abominations in which sinful people
excel. He who demands revenge will suffer the vengeance of the Lord
who keeps a strict account of his sins. Forgive the mistakes of your
neighbor and you may ask that your sins be forgiven. If a man bears
resentment against another, how can he ask God for healing? If he has
no compassion on others, how can he pray for forgiveness for his sins?
As long as he, mere flesh, is resentful, who will obtain his pardon?
Remember your end and give up hatred; keep in mind your final
corruption in the grave and keep the commandments. Remember the
commandments and do not bear grudges against your neighbor. Remember
the covenant with the Most High and overlook the offense.
Brothers and sisters: None of us lives for himself, nor dies for
himself. If we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for
the Lord. Either in life or in death, we belong to the Lord; It was
for this purpose that Christ both died and come to life again to be
Lord both of the living and of the dead.
Peter asked Jesus, "Lord, how many times must I forgive the offenses
of my brother or sister? Seven times?" Jesus answered, "No, not seven
times, but seventy-seven times. This story throws light on the Kingdom
of Heaven: A king decided to settle the accounts of his servants.
Among the first was one who owed him ten thousand pieces of gold. As
the man could not repay the debt, the king commanded that he be sold
as a slave with his wife, his children and all his goods, as
repayment. The servant threw himself at the feet of the king and said,
`Give me time, and I will pay you back everything.' The king took pit
y on him, and not only set him free, but even canceled his debt. When
this servant left the king's presence, he met one of his companions,
who owed him a hundred pieces of silver. He grabbed him by the neck
and almost choked him, shouting, `Pay me what you owe!' His companion
threw himself at his feet and begged him, `Give me time, and I will
pay everything.' The other did not agree, but sent him to prison until
he had paid all his debt. Now his fellow servants saw what had
happened. They were extremely upset, and so they went and reported
everything to their lord. Then the lord summoned his servant and said,
`Wicked servant, I forgave you all that you owed when you begged me to
do so. Weren't you bound to have pity on your companion, as I had pity
on you?' The lord was now angry, so he handed his servant over to be
punished, until he had paid his whole debt." Jesus added, "So will my
heavenly Father do with you, unless you sincerely forgive your
brothers and sisters."
The Gospel story shows the true meaning of forgiveness which is never-
ending. In short, we are never to keep count when it comes to
forgiveness. Seven is a perfect number; its multiples express the
incalculable; seventy times seven pointing to forgiveness that cannot
be limited to a certain number of times. It, however, must be noted
that the parable of the unforgiving servant shows the pardon principle
but does not entirely fit the present context which deals with
multiple acts of forgiveness.
It is not surprising that our initial reaction to the first servant is
anger for his insensitivity and arrogance. How can he not forgive
another fellow servant who owed him less than what he owed his master?
We are baffled at the refusal of the servant whose mammoth debt was
forgiven to delay the repayment of a trifling sum owed to him.
On further reflection, we feel a certain compassion for the
unforgiving servant for we realize that the man somehow represents all
of us. We cannot deny our sinfulness as we have likewise acted and
continue to behave impulsively and inconsistently with what we
believe. Forgetfulness of our own sins leads us to lack of compassion.
Yet to remember how our sins have gone unpunished by God should lead
us to forgive others. As we continue to be recipients of the loving
mercy and forgiveness of God, this, in turn, is to inspire us to do
the same with others. It seems easy to say to hate the sin but not the
sinner. But, in reality, we have difficulty in separating the act from
the one who committed the sin, pain, and hurt to us. There are
emotional blocks that hinder us from forgiving and reaching out to
others especially those who may have hurt us very deeply. Pride or
lack of humility prevents us from being merciful and understanding to
those who have wronged us.
Jesus represents the ultimate symbol of forgiveness. Who, among us,
would not have been hurt with the triple denial of Peter with regard
to his relationship and friendship with Jesus? But, we know how Jesus
realized how weak and frustrated and sorry Peter was. He kept on
believing his apostles and many people. He kept on giving them
chances. He had a true sense of "try and try again." Forgiveness does
not mean being a doormat or not using discretion with persons you deal
with and how. Forgiveness means allowing others to make mistakes while
we keep moving forward.
We pray …
… for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the
… for the speedy recovery and healing of
- Betty L. Ngo and Lisa Chan
- Linda O, Delores, Mrs C, John C, Frank, Gene, Eugene R, Kristen,
- Vergara Family
- Andrew G.
… for the personal intentions of
- priests and laity of Maninagar Parish
- Julie and Glenn Manzon, Glenda and Joel Bisco, Ma Fe and Florante De
Castro, Mary Ann Castro, Estelita and Salvador Escamilla, Domingo Jr.
and Fe Barayoga, Churchill and Marichu Barayoga, John Dale and Glenn
- Veronica Yap
- Josheil Dapo
… for the eternal repose of the souls of
- Yu Cho Teng
- Anna McAvoy
Eternal rest grant unto them and may perpetual light shine upon them.
May they and all the dearly departed rest in peace.
… for families who are in need of healing
… for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers
and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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