El Shaddai DWXI Prayer Partners Fellowship International
Daily Gospel Reading - March 13, 2012 PDF Print E-mail

Matthew 18:21-35

 

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

21Peter [approached Jesus and] asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. 23That is why the kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants. 24When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount. 25Since 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. 26At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’ 27Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan. 28When 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.’ 29Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ 30But he refused. Instead, he had him put in prison until he paid back the debt. 31Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master and reported the whole affair. 32His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. 33Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’ 34Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt. 35So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”

 

Reflection:

I forgave you your entire debt. The parable tells us that, no matter how great and grave our sins are, God is always willing and ready to forgive. God’s forgiveness is limitless, without condition and without measure.

 

At the same time, however, we are asked to be like God in the way we deal with those who offend or hurt us. If we refuse to forgive, we will never experience the joy and peace of God’s forgiveness. As we are ready to forgive, God will be swift to pardon. As we ask forgiveness from others, God will always be merciful to forgive us.

 

Make a list of people whom you will forgive

and from whom you will ask forgiveness.

 
Daily Gospel Reading - March 12, 2012 PDF Print E-mail

Luke 4:24-30

 

The Rejection at Nazareth

24[Jesus] said [to all in the synagogue at Nazareth], “Amen, I say to you, no prophet is accepted in his own native place. 25Indeed, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah when the sky was closed for three and a half years and a severe famine spread over the entire land. 26It was to none of these that Elijah was sent, but only to a widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon. 27Again, there were many lepers in Israel during the time of Elisha the prophet; yet not one of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” 28When the people in the synagogue heard this, they were all filled with fury. 29They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong. 30But he passed through the midst of them and went away.

 

Reflection:

A widow in Zarephath. God does not play favorites. Out of goodness and love, God freely distributes gifts and blessings according to our needs. No one has any exclusive rights to God’s gifts. We do not own God; we cannot monopolize God.

 

The Jews have a different perception about God’s goodness. They want God only for themselves. All the rest of humanity should be excluded from God’s benevolence.

 

Jesus reminds the Jews of the prophet Elijah who was sent during a famine to minister to the needs of a Gentile widow in Zarephath in the land of Sidon. He recalls the cure performed by the prophet Elisha for an enemy, Naaman the Syrian. Jesus clarifies that God heals not because of race but because of mercy and compassion. God wills the good of all, Jews and Gentiles alike.

 

This teaching angers the Jews in the synagogue in Nazareth; they drive Jesus out of town, wanting to kill him.

 

Do you see God as Father of all?

 
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