Homily (Reflection) for Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent (21st March, 2017) on the Gospel

Dan 3:25.34-43;
Ps 24:4-9 (R. v. 6);
Matt 18:21-35.

Topic: If you want then....
In today’s gospel Peter asked Jesus how often one is bound to forgive his/her brothers and sisters. Jesus replied, “...seventy-seven times.” He explained further using the parable of the unforgiving slave. The slave owed the king ten thousand talents. A talent worth more than fifteen years wages of a labourer. As he could not pay, he pleaded with the king for time. However, out of pity the king forgave him the debt. But as the slave stepped out, he met a fellow slave who owed him a hundred denarii. A denarius was a day’s wage of a labourer. He seized him by the throat saying, “Pay what you owe.” His fellow salve’s prayer for time fell on deaf ears. Just imagine the big difference between the two debts.
The king summoned the unforgiving slave and said to him, “You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?” The gospel reads further,
And in anger the king handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.
Think of how often we wrong God and run to Him for forgiveness. And we know that He forgives all who come to Him with sincere heart, cf. 2Chr 7:14; Jer 33:8; Ps 85:2; 1Jn 1:9. God wants us to forgive others just as He forgives us, cf. Col 3:13. We must forgive as many times as we are wronged, cf. Lk 17:4.
Lenten season is not just a time of receiving forgiveness from God but most importantly a time of giving forgiveness to others. Whoever fails to forgive piles up his or her sins against him/herself, cf. Matt 6:15. 18:35.
Bible Reading: Matt 6:9-15; Mk 11:25.
Thought for today: You will be forgiven if only you forgive.
Let us pray: Lord, remove from us the heart of stone and give us a new heart of flesh and a new spirit to enable us forgive others (cf. Ezek 36:26) – Amen.

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