Tuesday, March 17, 2009
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."
Class of 2011
Today's Gospel is one that discusses a matter that we face every day: forgiveness. We have read that Jesus told his disciples to love their enemies, but what we often neglect is loving ourselves by truly accepting the forgiveness God offers to us. In facing the challenges of everyday life, we fall. We sin and we turn away from God. When others do the same, we tend to forgive them more easily. But when we do this to ourselves, we are torn up about it. I didn't study hard enough for this, I missed Mass this week. It's a constant inner battle to find a level of contentment within ourselves to obtain true inner peace and comfort. The English poet William Blake said it best: "the glory of Christianity is to conquer by forgiveness." We believe that good will always conquer evil, and that will only happen if we first learn to forgive. Jesus told us to love with all our heart-love God, neighbor, and self-and we cannot learn to truly embrace love if we do not first forgive. How can we love others if we first do not love ourselves? Likewise, we cannot learn to forgive others until we forgive ourselves. The only way to do this, then, is to allow the light of God to shine in our lives. Once we open the window and embrace His light, we will see the beauty of life and embrace it for how it truly shines in our lives.