Monday, March 09, 2015
TUESDAY, 3rd Week of Lent
March 10, 2015 TUESDAY, 3rd Week of Lent
Dn 3:25, 34-43 / Mt 18: 21-35
Reading: Dn 3:25, 34-43
Azariah stood up in the midst of the fire and prayed aloud:
Do not abandon us forever, do not reject your covenant for your Name's sake.
Do not withdraw your mercy from us, for the sake of Abraham, your friend, of Isaac, your servant, of Israel, your holy one, to whom you promised to multiply their race as the stars of heaven and the sand on the shore of the sea.
Lord, see, we have become the least among the nations in all the world, and we are humiliated because of our sins.
At this time, we no longer have a king, or prophet, or leader. We cannot offer you holocausts, sacrifices, offerings, or incense. We have no place to present to you the first-fruits of our crops, and so obtain your favor.
But at least when we present ourselves with a contrite soul and humbled spirit may we then be acceptable to you, more than by offerings of rams and calves as holocausts, and of thousands of fat lambs.
May this sacrifice of ours today obtain for us your favor for we know that those who trust in you shall never be disappointed.
And now, we serve you with our whole heart, we fear you and we seek your face. Do not leave us in our humiliation, but treat us according to your kindness and your great mercy. Free us in keeping with your wonders, and give us the glory of your Name, Lord.
Gospel: Mt 18: 21 -35
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."
Mercy and justice are twin virtues that stem from the same spirit but stand on opposite sides when it comes to resulting action. They both pursue righteousness, but their methods differ. Justice sees right and wrong as scales that need to be balanced - reward and punishment as deserved. Mercy acknowledges justice, but allows the spirit of forgiveness to prevail.
Ours is a God of both justice and mercy, which may be a bit difficult to grasp at first - until we realize that they are not opposing forces at all. Mercy is justice with compassion. And mercy is given to those who justly deserve it.
Lent is considered a time of repentance. But forgiveness is not confined to the confessional. It should be given as freely as it is received from our merciful God. Our sinfulness far outweighs his goodness in the scales of justice, yet he tips the balance with love. Would you do the same? We can never pay him back for his mercy, but we can always pay it forward.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
IN MEMORIAM (+)
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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