Daily Reflection for Thursday, August 11, 2022
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Thursday’s readings at this link:
Memorial of Saint Clare, Virgin | USCCB
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Ezekiel 12:1-12
Responsorial: Psalm 78:56-59, 61-62
Gospel: Matthew 18:21-19:1
Our reflection on Thursday’s readings:
Then Peter approaching asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Matthew 18:21
Those of you with children may well hear in them the same angle that could be interpreted from Peter’s question which led Jesus to share the parable of the unmerciful servant. Those of you who manage people may know the same angle. If neither applies to you, then consider if you might admit to and self-identify with Peter’s clarity-seeking question from Jesus regarding what’s-the-minimum-I-need-to-do?
Peter’s question is an honest one. It could be interpreted as, “Jesus, what is the least I have to do?” In other words, Jesus, forgiveness isn’t the easiest task to undertake, so what’s the minimum requirement for it to count?
But what if we reverse engineer Peter’s question? What if Peter were to have asked Jesus, what will happen if I choose NOT to forgive the brother who sins against me? (Matthew 18:35 was not an equivocal answer, by the way.)
I don’t know how Jesus would have responded but I’d like to think He’d have said the same thing He’d maybe say now. “Look around.” Look at international headlines. Observe the bravado and one-upmanship. Observe the posturing and petty disagreements that spark war and controversy. Look at national headlines. What is the root cause of so many demonstrations?
How does the unforgiving servant bear witness to the impatience, minimal communication and deep offense between groups that have opposing views on climate, race relations, respect for life, and many others?
Most importantly, look inwardly. Are you actively resisting the need to forgive (others? yourself?) resulting in erosive physical or spiritual health?