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(Sunday XXIV OT – A) Forgiveness from the Heart

Submitted by on Saturday, 10 September 2011No Comment

Today’s Readings

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  • Reading I:  Sirach 27:30-28:7
  • Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 103
  • Reading II: Romans 14:7-9
  • Gospel Reading: Matthew 18:21-35

Sirach and Forgiveness

The Gospels did not grow out of the Old Testament, we know that. Between the Two Testaments, there is a jump in quality because of the figure of Jesus Christ. It would be naive to think that the Old Testament writings, read in a particular way can lead one to the Letters of Paul and the Gospels. In fact, we know that the whole New Testament is a product of the rereading of the Jewish scriptures in the light of the death and resurrection of Christ. And yet, there are some passages in the Jewish Scriptures that show some continuity between Old and New Testaments. A case in point is today’s OT reading: Sirach 27:30-28:7

More in "Sirach: A Doorway to the Lord’s Prayer"

A Parable on Forgiveness

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"To forgive from the heart." Seen within the context of Matthew 18:21-35, the phrase means both forgiving with compassion and forgetting the wrong done. The king had compassion on the man who owed him a large debt and therefore freed him from it. The word for compassion used here is the same word that the Gospels use for the compassion that Jesus feels for the crowds who come to him for healing. Splanchnizomai, is a strong emotion that is felt in the center of one’s being. The king experienced it when the man in the parable pleaded for more time to pay what he owed. Knowing that the large amount cannot be paid in a lifetime, anyway**, the king wrote off the debt. But the man, having been freed from a debt he could not pay, would not write off the debt of one who can pay his in this lifetime. Thus, the sadness of those who witness the man who has been treated graciously deal with a fellow in a similar situation in a cruel manner. Thus, too, the harshness of the king when he hears about it.

When was the last time you forgave from the heart?

More to read in "Forgiveness from the Heart"

Romans 14:7-9
View in: NAB NIV KJV NJB Vulg Greek
7For none of us liveth to himself; and no man dieth to himself.
8For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; or whether we die, we die unto the Lord. Therefore, whether we live, or whether we die, we are the Lord's.
9For to this end Christ died and rose again; that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
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.
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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