Read Matthew 18
In today’s reading:
Humility; the lost sheep; the forgiveness; marriage and divorce; the rich young governor; the workers in the vineyard; the two blind men are healed
E l apostle Peter asked a very important question to the Lord, even more than he thought, when he asked Jesus, “Lord, how many times forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven? Jesus said to him: I do not say to you up to seven, but even up to seventy times seven “ (Matthew 18: 21-22).
Pedro thought he was very generous in suggesting “up to seven” times. For that was twice what was required by the scribal traditions, plus one more, for a total of “up to seven” times. Refusing to forgive people their sins against us, while at the same time waiting for Christ to forgive us all of our sins against Him that we commit every day for a lifetime, is a fatal sin. Jesus Christ admonishes us, telling us: “But if you do not forgive men their offenses, neither will your Father forgive your offenses” (6:15).
The Lord gives us an illustration of a servant “who owed ten thousand talents” to his king (18:24). This amount was impossible for him to pay even in a lifetime. «Then that servant, prostrate, begged him, saying: Lord, bear with me, and I will pay you everything. The lord of that servant, moved with mercy, released him and forgave him the debt. But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants, who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him, he choked him, saying: Pay me what you owe me. Then his fellow servant, falling down at his feet, begged him saying: Be patient with me, and I will pay you everything. But he would not, but went and threw him in jail, until he paid the debt “ (18: 26-30). When their king found out what had happened,«He said to him: Evil servant, I forgave you all that debt, because you begged me. Shouldn’t you also have mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you? Then his lord, angry, handed him over to the executioners, until he paid all he owed him. So will my Heavenly Father do to you if you do not forgive each one of your brothers his trespasses with all your heart “ (18: 31-35).
When we consider the fear of Jehovah, we find that it is much easier to forgive other people. «Get rid of you all bitterness, anger, rage, yelling and slander, and all malice. Rather be kind to one another, merciful, forgiving one another, as God also forgave you in Christ “ (Ephesians 4: 31-32; see Matthew 6: 14-15).
Thought for today:We will live for the Lord now and we will enjoy living eternally with Him.
Memory Verse of the Week: Psalm 139: 1-2