Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Thursday 19th Week in Ordinary Time
Thursday 19th Week in Ordinary Time
[Memorial, St. Maximilian Mary Kolbe]
Ez 12: 1-12 / Ps 78: 56-57, 58-59, 61-62 / Mt 18: 21 - 19: 1
Reading: Ez 12: 1-12
This word of Yahweh came to me, "Son of man, you live in the midst of a house of rebels: they have eyes for seeing but do not see; they have ears for hearing but do not hear, for they are a house of rebels. Because of this, son of man, prepare for yourself an exile's baggage in their sight as an exile does; and go as an exile to another place in their sight. Would that they may understand, because they are a house of rebels. You will gather your things, an exile's baggage, by day to be seen by them, and you will leave in the evening as for a departure of deportees. While they look on, dig a hole in the wall and leave from there. As they look on, shoulder your baggage and leave in the dark. Veil your face and do not look at the land for I have made you a sign for Israel." I did as I was ordered, gathering my things by day, an exile's baggage, and in the evening I made a hole in the wall with my hand. I left in the dark, in their presence, shouldering my baggage. In the morning the word of Yahweh came to me: "Son of man, did not the Israelites, these rebels, ask you, 'What are you doing there?' Answer them on behalf of Yahweh: This oracle concerns the prince in Jerusalem and all the Israelites remaining in the city. Say, 'I am a sign for you,' for what I have done will happen to them: They will be deported, exiled. The prince among them shall shoulder his baggage in the dark and depart. They will dig a hole in the wall to let him leave by it. He will cover his face because he must not see the land with his eyes.
Gospel: Matthew 18:21 - 19:1
Then Peter asked him, "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 gold ingots. As the man could not repay the debt, the king commanded that he be sold as a slave with his wife, children and all his goods in payment. The official threw himself at the feet of the king and said, 'Give me time, and I will pay you back everything.' The king took pity on him and not only set him free but even canceled his debt. This official then left the king's presence and he met one of his companions who owed him a hundred pieces of silver. He grabbed him by the neck and almost strangled him, shouting, 'Pay me what you owe!' His companion threw himself at his feet and asked 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. His companions saw what happened. They were indignant and so they went and reported everything to their lord. Then the lord summoned his official 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 each of you sincerely forgive your brother or sister." When Jesus had finished this teaching, he left Galilee and arrived at the border of Judea, on the other side of the Jordan River.
Passages from Scriptures are very good points for prayer. The essence of today's Gospel is forgiveness. The king forgave the large debt of his servant, but the forgiven servant did not forgive the small debt of another servant to him. He even sent the servant who could not pay to prison. The king upon hearing what happened, was angry and called for the forgiven servant. For not being forgiving to his co-worker, despite having been forgiven himself, he was sent to prison. What made the king angry was the servant's ungratefulness to him which was shown in not doing to others what the king did for him. For that he was thrown into prison.
If we expect God's mercy, others should also expect mercy from us. To forgive "seventy times seven" means limitless. God's forgiveness is limitless, so we must also forgive without limit those who hurt our feelings and keep on hurting our feelings. The only limit for God's mercy comes from us, from our inability to forgive our brothers. God wants us to let go of the thoughts of hatred and revenge. Forgiving does not mean allowing injustice. Let there be justice, but let there be no hatred and revenge. When we pray the Our Father, we say, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." God's forgiveness and human forgiveness are related. That is shown in today's parable. The king forgives his slave an extraordinarily large amount. It seems there is no debt too large to be forgiven by God. This debtor was forgiven. That's what the kingdom of heaven is like. That's how our God is - full of mercy and compassion. This slave, however, refuses to forgive his fellow slave who owes him a much smaller amount than what the king forgave him of. His heart was hard on the co-servant. He even sent him to prison. When he did not forgive his co-servant, he lost his own forgiveness from the king because the king put him to prison.
We pray ...
... for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn
... for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary
... 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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