Gospel Reflections - Matthew 18: 21-35 - March 14, 2023 - Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent

Gospel Reflections - Matthew 18: 21-35 - March 14, 2023 - 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."


In Matthew 18:21-35, we see Peter asking Jesus how many times he should forgive someone who sins against him, and suggests seven times. But Jesus responds by saying not seven times, but seventy-seven times (or in some translations, seventy times seven).

Jesus then tells a parable to illustrate the importance of forgiveness. In the story, a king forgives a servant's debt of millions of dollars. However, that same servant then refuses to forgive the small debt owed to him by another person. The king becomes angry and throws the servant in jail.

This parable teaches us that God forgives us an infinite number of times, and expects us to extend the same forgiveness to others. It reminds us that our sins are forgiven through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, and that we should be grateful for this gift by forgiving others.

Forgiveness is not always easy, but it is necessary for our own spiritual growth and healing. When we hold on to anger and resentment, it only harms ourselves and makes it harder to move forward. Forgiveness is not about forgetting the harm done to us, but acknowledging the hurt and choosing to let go of the desire for revenge or justice.

As Catholics, we are called to imitate Jesus in his mercy and forgiveness. We pray in the Our Father, "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." We must take this prayer seriously and strive to forgive others as we have been forgiven.

Let us reflect on Matthew 18:21-35 and ask ourselves: Who do I need to forgive today? How can I extend God's mercy to others in my life? May we all grow in love and forgiveness, just as our heavenly Father has shown us.



 Heavenly Father, we thank you for your great mercy and compassion towards us. You have forgiven us time and time again, and we are grateful for your never-ending love. Help us to extend this same forgiveness and compassion to those around us, even when it is difficult. Give us the strength to let go of anger and resentment and to seek reconciliation with those who have wronged us. May we always remember the parable of the unforgiving servant and strive to forgive others as you have forgiven us. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.



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