March 5, 2013

The Gospel Today

Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent

Mt. 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 seventy-seven 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.”

Reflection (Sem. Ivan Joseph F. Feniquito)

Today’s Gospel reminds us how good and forgiving our Lord is. He is so compassionate that even if we commit sins, he forgives us and gives us a chance to renew our wrongdoings.

In reality, we experience a lot of struggles and sufferings in our life. Maybe there are times that these sufferings are caused by others. They can be our family, relatives, friends, neighbors, or those persons who are close to us. They can also be the persons whom we look to like our boss, leaders, and those persons whom we think can supposedly be the source of our strengths and inspirations. When someone offends us, it may be hard for us to forgive, especially if the offender is very close to us; it can be more painful if the person we least expect the person to hurt us.

Let us go back to the promise of God for us. He sent us His only begotten Son to save us from our sins and to bring us salvation. God is our Father, and at the time we were baptized, we became His sons and daughters. We are close to our Father, though at times we ignore Him or we do not recognize Him. The truth is that God loves us so much; I believe that God is hurt whenever we commit sins. The source of the heaviness of Jesus’ cross is our sins and wrongdoings. But even so, God stills forgives and continues to love us.

In today’s Gospel, God is inviting us to forgive those who offend us as God forgives our sins. He is inviting us to share His compassion, forgiveness, and His love to other people, especially those people whom we really find hard to forgive. With the gracious help and love of God, it will now be easy to forgive and love those who sinned against us. Amen.

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