Quotations:

I am with you always until the end of this world - Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Preach the Word in season and out of season reproving, rebuking or advising always with patience and providing instructions (2 Timothy 4:2).

Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you (Luke 1:30).

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Reflection for March 1, Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent; Matthew 18:21-35

Gospel: 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 your brother from your heart.”
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Reflection:
Is it normal for us to harbor resentments? Yes of course for we are humans with emotions. But after that short moment wherein we responded to our feelings let us quickly allow Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness to take over our selfish feelings. 

In the gospel Peter asked Jesus, "Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive? As many as seven times?"  Jesus answered, "I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times (Matthew 18:21-22).

This is a very simple yet very effective teaching on forgiveness for us from Jesus. In other words He is saying to us that we should always be forgiving. It’s normal for us to be hurt but let us not allow these hurtful feelings to control us. Therefore, we can only be freed from the vicious control of anger which by the way comes from the devil, if we forgive those who have hurt us without any preconditions.

Try to observe yourself when you don’t listen to Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness. Isn’t it that you carry a heavy burden in your heart? When you allow unforgiveness to reside in your heart you allow yourself to be imprisoned and controlled by your anger. 

What if you follow Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness, how would you feel? You will feel light and free. You will feel no burden in your heart. Don’t we all want to feel light, to feel free and without any burdens and hurtful feelings in our heart?

These are the two options before us: To follow Jesus’ teaching on infinite forgiveness or we continue to punish and burden ourselves by being unforgiving. The wisdom filled choice is to always follow the teaching being given to us by Jesus. – Marino J. Dasmarinas 

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