Homily (Reflection) for Thursday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time (I) (12th August, 2021) on the Gospel


Josh 3:7-11.13-17;

Ps 114A. 1-6;

Matt 18:21–19:1.

Topic: The only means.

Peter asked Jesus whether one is required to forgive only seven times. Jesus replied, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.” He further gave a parable in which a king forgave a servant who could not pay ten thousand talents he owed because he pleaded. The same servant met a fellow servant who owed him a hundred denarii. He seized him by the throat and demanded his money. His fellow servant pleaded with him, but he refused and threw him into prison. When the king heard it, he summoned him 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?” Jesus concludes the parable saying,

And in anger his lord 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.

Note that a denarius was the usual day’s wage for a labourer. And a talent was worth more than fifteen years’ wages of a labourer. Compare the two debts. Again, what is the possibility of the wicked servant paying his entire debt?

The Psalmist writes, “...he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand” (Ps 95:7). In the words of Saint Paul, “...whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s” (Rom 14:8). Again, “...we are the temple of the living God” (2Cor 6:16). In sum, we are not our own, cf. 1Cor 6:19. Therefore, whatever wrong one does even those against oneself is done to God. Just imagine the magnitude. Like the wicked servant, nobody can pay back what he/she owes God, cf. Ps 49:7-8. Hence, “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered” (Ps 32:1).

We must forgive others if we want forgiveness. This is the only sure way to receive forgiveness.

Bible Reading: Matt 6:9-15; Eph 1:3-7; Col 1:11-14.

Thought for today: ...forgive, and you will be forgiven (Lk 6:37).

Let us pray: Lord, “forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors – Amen.

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