Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Lent 3. 2016 March 1st-of forgiveness and of mercy

1st March

(C)Br Luke Efo 2010

Scripture: Matthew 18: 21-35
21 Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Until seven times?”
22 Yeshua said to him, “I don’t tell you until seven times, but, until seventy times seven. 23  Therefore the Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king, who wanted to reconcile accounts with his servants. 24  When he had begun to reconcile, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25  But because he couldn’t pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, with his wife, his children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26  The servant therefore fell down and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will repay you all!’ 27  The lord of that servant, being moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
28  “But that servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, who owed him one hundred denarii, and he grabbed him, and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’
29  “So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will repay you!’ 30  He would not, but went and cast him into prison, until he should pay back that which was due. 31  So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were exceedingly sorry, and came and told their lord all that was done. 32  Then his lord called him in, and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt, because you begged me. 33  Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow servant, even as I had mercy on you?’ 34  His lord was angry, and delivered him to the tormentors, until he should pay all that was due to him. 35  So my heavenly Father will also do to you, if you don’t each forgive your brother from your hearts for his misdeeds.”

"This parable speaks of forgiveness and of mercy. We see forgiveness given, and then forgiveness refused. We have it within ourselves to forgive - to act with mercy or not. Often what drives us to choose one over the other is our ego - our sense of self importance. If we forgive, as we are forgiven, then we set aside our self interest and our ego and we act with mercy. This is very hard to do, (especially in a world which seems to value self interest & ego above all else), but not impossible.   When we seek God’s grace to forgive, we realise that it has already been given. And what joy comes with that realisation

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