On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 22, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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All of us who have been in debt can relate in one way or another, especially a heavy debt we cannot pay off no matter what we do! The fear, anxiety, restlessness, even panic which sometimes overwhelms us. How is it then that we do not look upon our  sins as a far greater debt that we cannot pay off on our own? And yet our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ took upon Himself the debt of the world and settled it in full upon the cross in which He hung. Freeing us to live fully in the light of His resurrection! Comparing our debt against the spotless victim who died for us, how tiny a debt it is indeed that we hold against our offending brother or sister! And yet shall we not forgive?

Here is the truth revealed in today’s readings, that unless we forgive ourselves, we will not be forgiven! For a contrite soul and humble spirit before the Lord our God also means that we reflect our contrition and humility of spirit in the mercy shown towards our brethren.

O God, Heavenly Father of us Your beloved children, drive away the sins that assail us, that we may always be pleasing to You and ever safe under your protection. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

First reading

Daniel 3:25,34-43

Let our sacrifice to you today be a contrite soul and humbled spirit

Azariah stood in the heart of the fire, and he began to pray:

Oh! Do not abandon us for ever,

for the sake of your name;

do not repudiate your covenant,

do not withdraw your favour from us,

for the sake of Abraham, your friend,

of Isaac your servant,

and of Israel your holy one,

to whom you promised descendants as countless as the stars of heaven

and as the grains of sand on the seashore.

Lord, now we are the least of all the nations,

now we are despised throughout the world, today, because of our sins.

We have at this time no leader, no prophet, no prince,

no holocaust, no sacrifice, no oblation, no incense,

no place where we can offer you the first-fruits

and win your favour.

But may the contrite soul, the humbled spirit be as acceptable to you

as holocausts of rams and bullocks,

as thousands of fattened lambs:

such let our sacrifice be to you today,

and may it be your will that we follow you wholeheartedly,

since those who put their trust in you will not be disappointed.

And now we put our whole heart into following you,

into fearing you and seeking your face once more.

Do not disappoint us;

treat us gently, as you yourself are gentle

and very merciful.

Grant us deliverance worthy of your wonderful deeds,

let your name win glory, Lord.

Gospel

Matthew 18:21-35

To be forgiven, you must forgive

Peter went up to Jesus and said, ‘Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times.

    ‘And so the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who decided to settle his accounts with his servants. When the reckoning began, they brought him a man who owed ten thousand talents; but he had no means of paying, so his master gave orders that he should be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, to meet the debt. At this, the servant threw himself down at his master’s feet. “Give me time” he said “and I will pay the whole sum.” And the servant’s master felt so sorry for him that he let him go and cancelled the debt. Now as this servant went out, he happened to meet a fellow servant who owed him one hundred denarii; and he seized him by the throat and began to throttle him. “Pay what you owe me” he said. His fellow servant fell at his feet and implored him, saying, “Give me time and I will pay you.” But the other would not agree; on the contrary, he had him thrown into prison till he should pay the debt. His fellow servants were deeply distressed when they saw what had happened, and they went to their master and reported the whole affair to him. Then the master sent for him. “You wicked servant,” he said “I cancelled all that debt of yours when you appealed to me. Were you not bound, then, to have pity on your fellow servant just as I had pity on you?” And in his anger the master handed him over to the torturers till he should pay all his debt. And that is how my heavenly Father will deal with you unless you each forgive your brother from your heart.’

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