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Home » Daily Gospel, Daily Readings

Unless You Forgive from the Heart

Submitted by on Thursday, 12 August 2010No Comment
  • Reading I:  Ezekiel 12:1-12
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 78
  • Gospel Reading: Matthew 18:21-19:1

unforgivingservant-sm

The question of Peter (Matthew 18:21-19:1) regarding forgiveness continues the one from the previous section about the brother who offends (Matthew 18:15-20). The process of fraternal correction described there is the protocol to follow in case there is a breakdown in a reconciliation in private. When the offending brother does say sorry, Jesus’ answer to Peter’s question becomes relevant; so does the following parable on the unforgiving servant.

"Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us" we pray in the Our Father. The motive that we give God for forgiveness is not His Name, nor our own pitiableness but our practice of forgiving others. We ask to be forgiven because we too forgive. This practice of forgiveness since it is given not only to members of the community of faith but also those who persecute them is something that sets the Christian community apart within a world that finds vengeance a normal and sometimes the honorable response to an offense.

In the first reading (Ezekiel 12), we find Ezekiel being asked by Yahweh to dramatize the exile. Before the other Israelites he becomes "a prophecy in action" (Harrington, OP). Isn’t this what Christians are asked to become, "prophecies in action", divine oracles that bring the message of forgiveness to all? When Christians practice forgiveness, they do not only bring the message, they also become the message.

Links to Bible Notes

Ezekiel 12:1-12
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg LXX Hebrew
1And the word of the Lord came to me, saying:
2Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a provoking house: who have eyes to see, and see not: and ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a provoking house.
3Thou, therefore, O son of man, prepare thee all necessaries for removing, and remove by day in their sight: and thou shalt remove out of thy place to another place in their sight, if so be they will regard it: for they are a provoking house.
4And thou shalt bring forth thy furniture as the furniture of one that is removing by day in their sight: and thou shalt go forth in the evening in their presence, as one goeth forth that removeth his dwelling.
5Dig thee a way through the wall before their eyes: and thou shalt go forth through it.
6In their sight thou shalt be carried out upon men's shoulders, thou shalt be carried out in the dark: thou shalt cover thy face, and shalt not see the ground: for I have set thee for a sign of things to come to the house of Israel.
7I did therefore as he had commanded me: I brought forth my goods by day, as the goods of one that removeth: and in the evening I digged through the wall with my hand: and I went forth in the dark, and was carried on men's shoulders in their sight.
8And the word of the Lord came to me in the morning, saying:
9Son of man, hath not the house of Israel, the provoking house, said to thee: What art thou doing?
10Say to them: Thus saith the Lord God: This burden concerneth my prince that is in Jerusalem, and all the house of Israel, that are among them.
11Say: I am a sign of things to come to you: as I have done, so shall it be done to them: they shall be removed from their dwellings, and go into captivity.
12And the prince that is in the midst of them, shall be carried on shoulders, he shall go forth in the dark: they shall dig through the wall to bring him out: his face shall be covered, that he may not see the ground with his eyes.
Matthew 18:15-20
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
15But if thy brother shall offend against thee, go, and rebuke him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother.
16And if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more: that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may stand.
17And if he will not hear them: tell the church. And if he will not hear the church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican.
18Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.
19Again I say to you, that if two of you shall consent upon earth, concerning any thing whatsoever they shall ask, it shall be done to them by my Father who is in heaven.
20For where there are two or three gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Matthew 18:21-35
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
21Then came Peter unto him and said: Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
22Jesus saith to him: I say not to thee, till seven times; but till seventy times seven times.
23Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened to a king, who would take an account of his servants.
24And when he had begun to take the account, one was brought to him, that owed him ten thousand talents.
25And as he had not wherewith to pay it, his lord commanded that he should be sold, and his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.
26But that servant falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
27And the lord of that servant being moved with pity, let him go and forgave him the debt.
28But when that servant was gone out, he found one of his fellow servants that owed him an hundred pence: and laying hold of him, throttled him, saying: Pay what thou owest.
29And his fellow servant falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
30And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he paid the debt.
31Now his fellow servants seeing what was done, were very much grieved, and they came and told their lord all that was done.
32Then his lord called him; and said to him: Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all the debt, because thou besoughtest me:
33Shouldst not thou then have had compassion also on thy fellow servant, even as I had compassion on thee?
34And his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt.
35So also shall my heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not every one his brother from your hearts.

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