Aug 13 2020 Reflection
Thursday 13 August 2020
First Reading: EZ 12:1-12
Do not forget the works of the Lord!
PS 78:56-57, 58-59, 61-62
Gospel Reading: MT 18:21–19:1
Today’s Note: Thursday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
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.
Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan. (Matthew 18:27)
When Jesus told this parable, he described the heart of the gospel message. A servant who owed a debt so large he could never repay was forgiven by a very generous ruler. Like that servant, we owe a debt we can’t pay on our own, and like him, we have been forgiven by our merciful Father in heaven. So let’s join together today to praise our God, whose mercy knows no bounds.
“Heavenly Father, thank you for your compassion. Though you know every sin in my past, you offer me freedom and forgiveness. You see my struggle to forgive the ones who have hurt me. You know the ways I disregard your word or demand my own way. I am like this servant, standing before you with a great debt and no way out. But you look at me with love and compassion. Though I fall again and again, you cancel my debt and welcome me back.
“Loving God, this is the way you have always been. The Scriptures tell how you persistently offered your mercy and drew people to yourself. From the moment our first parents turned from you, your love never stopped. You called Abraham into a covenant relationship (Genesis 12). You called the people of Israel out of Egypt, freeing them from slavery and revealing your great mercy (Exodus 12). You sent prophets like Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah to speak your word to your people, even in the midst of their sin.
“Merciful Lord, you look upon us with kindness even today. Yours is a love that continues to reach out to us and offers to lift the burden of our sins. You are present with us through family, friends, and the sacraments to mediate your grace to us. Thank you that what we cannot do for ourselves, you freely desire to do for us!
“Father, the relief that the servant felt at having his debt forgiven did not make him merciful to his fellow servants. Help me not to repeat his mistake. Teach me to share your mercy with the people I meet, especially those who need it most. Make me more like you.”
“Merciful God, I praise you for your compassion and mercy on me. Thank you for having forgiven me completely!”