"A QUESTION OF FORGIVENESS"
First Reading :Sirach 27:30- 28:7
Second Reading : Romans 14: 7-9
Gospel Reading : Matthew 18:21-35
*First reading is from the book of Sirach (Eccleasiasticus). This passage explains to us that our desire for revenge and vengeance and our refusal to forgive those who were hurtful or did harm to us is unacceptable in the eyes of God. Such an attitude makes us unworthy of God's forgiveness and mercy. We can experience God's forgiveness only to the extent we forgive those who offended us.
* Second reading is from the letter of St. Paul to Romans. In this passage, Paul explains to us that we live in union with Lord Jesus so that we become precious in the eyes of God. Our living and dying as Christians is for Christ and for others.
"Not Seven times but Seventy times Seven"
Today's Gospel reading is from St. Matthew. In this passage, Jesus graphically explains to St. Peter and to us the need to have unconditional forgiveness. Peter thought forgiving seven times to the one who sinned against him is being very generous. But Jesus told him not seven times but seventy times seven times forgiveness should be granted ( which means that he has to forgive innumerable times).
The parable of the two debtors is a very specific example of the need to forgive others. The parable is about a master and two of his servants. The first one owed the Master 1 million rupees. He was asked to pay back the entire amount. Unable to pay this man pleaded for mercy from the Master and the Master out of pity forgave all his debt. After some time the same man met a fellow servant who owed him a mere 1000 rupees. He asked his fellow servant to pay back the entire debt. The fellow servant too pleaded with him to have mercy and asked pardon. But this man did not relent and put his fellow servant in prison till he paid the entire debt.
The Master when he came to know about this unforgiving servant who was a recipient of his mercy became extremely upset and angry because although this servant received mercy from the Master same mercy was not shown to his fellow servant.
Hence our forgiveness of those who have done wrong to us is the precondition for God to forgive our sins. The only obstacle we can put in the way of God's forgiveness of our sins is our refusal to forgive the sins of others.
"To err is Human but to forgive is Divine" - A proverb
"Father, forgive them: for they do not know what they are doing " - Luke 23:34