Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 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 his brother from his heart.”
Don’t be miserable with your brother when you’ve already been forgiven by God
1) How many times should I forgive?: If there is something that’s hard for us to do, it’s to forgive. Forgiving someone can be difficult because we feel that people take us for fools. The process of forgiveness should bring about a change. When someone asks for forgiveness, it is because they seek relief for their soul. Forgiveness is for the weak one who falls and wants to change, not for the wicked who only seek to justify. And perhaps you will tell me: “but Father, sometimes I feel like a fool because I am forgiving all the time”, but the key is to discern if the other person’s regret comes from the heart or if it is just their bad habit.
2) The king’s forgiveness: The king acts with justice, to the request of his servant, and his promise to change. The king takes the option to forgive. It is similar to our relationship with God. How many times do you ask Him to forgive the tremendous things that you do? Over and over again ! You aren’t the only one that knows about the big mistakes you have made in your life… those mistakes that haven’t come to light. God knows about them too. God puts Himself on the cross for those mistakes and takes the blame for them… for a simple reason: He loves you ! He shows you his infinitive love on the cross, and He keeps loving you; He keeps forgiving you, and He keeps giving you opportunities.
3) The misery of the one who does not forgive: The gospel shows you that this forgiven person does not have mercy on his neighbor; he does not forgive his brother. The amounts that the gospel describes are absurd: it must be like a million dollars versus one hundred. It shows you that this guy doesn’t spare a crumb for his compatriot brother. We are also like this. We are forgiven by God so often, and yet we are not capable of forgiving even a tiny bit from our brothers. We directly block them and don’t even dare to talk to them. We are able to block them from the phone and our life without looking at them in the eye. God gives us so many opportunities and we don’t even give them one. Please, do not be so miserable with the one who only scratched you, when you have ended up destroying the life of the other. Have Mercy!
May God bless you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit ! Take care.