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

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Reflection for Sunday, September 17; Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time; 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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Why is it that many of us are not able to forgive? This is for the reason that we think highly of ourselves and we think that we are superior than the person who sinned against us. Unforgiveness also emanates from our arrogance, pride and lack of humility. Unforgiveness is also a sign that we love ourselves more than we love Jesus if at all we love Jesus. 

If we truly love Jesus and if we really are humble we would be forgiving no matter how deep the wound that had been inflicted upon us. For example, if a wayward spouse would ask for forgiveness we would think deeply upon it and would eventually forgive. 

If we would continue to provide safe harbor for hatred and unforgiveness in our hearts, we are only creating an invisible prison cell within ourselves. Prison cell that perpetually punish and enslave us.

In our gospel, Peter asked Jesus: “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 (Matthew 18:21-22). This simply means that forgiveness should be never-ending or limitless.

Those who are truly humble and those who truly love Jesus are the ones capable of unlimited forgiveness. Otherwise we simply are great pretenders: Pretenders to be humble and lovers of Jesus.  – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

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