Link to today’s readings: http://usccb.org/bible/readings/081618.cfm
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 the fellow servant 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 his brother from his heart.”
When Jesus finished these words, he left Galilee and went to the district of Judea across the Jordan.
If we want forgiveness from God, we MUST forgive those who hurt us. And Jesus is not limiting how many times we must forgive. We have to do to others what we want done for us, so when we receive mercy we must pass it on. Some people interpret this scripture to mean we have to become a doormat and let people use us and keep on forgiving them. That is not what He says. We must have mercy and pity when people ask for our forgiveness, but it does not mean we have to put ourselves in a position to be used and hurt, over and over again. Be forgiving as you want God to forgive you, give mercy as you want to receive mercy from the Lord. How easily do you forgive with mercy?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, you gave me so much mercy and forgiveness I cannot hold back when others need my forgiveness and your mercy. Thank you for all you have done for me, in Jesus’ holy name, Amen.
Do not forget the works of the Lord!