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Browsing Reflections Archive

August 13, 2020

Daily Reflection for Thursday, August 13, 2020

Peace and blessings, friends and parishioners!

We encourage you to reflect on Thursday’s readings at this link:
https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/081320.cfm

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:
Peter approached Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him?       MT  18:21

I like Peter.   He desires to do good.  He knows who to follow and does so.  He knows and believes the Truth.  And yet, he is weak and doubtful and fearful.   He’s you and he’s me.

I like that he seems to be looking for parameters and for any loopholes.  “How often must I forgive,” he asks?  Seven times also seems generous to me because the Peter writing this reflection thinks the limitless forgiveness from today’s Gospel parable is awfully lofty.  How much time do we spend noticing and then stewing about the shortcomings of others, about their approach to a situation we disagree with?  How much more magnified is our response when we feel we’re somehow victims of their character flaws or their chosen course of action?  And, of course, the uncomfortable question to ask ourselves how often we act in reality or in principle like the actions of others that incense or offend us?  I can tell you that this particular Peter likes to elaborately consider why my action(s) or my response is somehow justified and therefore less subject to the same judgment I so quickly apply to others. 

How unfathomable a gesture is the reminder at every sacrifice of the Mass of His forgiveness of our debts?  And how quickly do we return our focus to the petty injustices done to us by others like the unforgiving servant?  Matthew 7:3 succinctly nails it.  “Why do you notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do not perceive the wooden bean in your own eye?”

I like that Peter doubts and that he shows fear.  He asked for proof that it was Jesus and not a ghost on the water in last Sunday’s Gospel.  I don’t believe you God (or I don’t want to believe) so prove it to me.

I like that Peter went so far as to deny Jesus.  While it doesn’t excuse it, I find that it normalizes for me the times when I’ve done the same.

And I especially like how Jesus ultimately used his weak and decidedly human apostle Peter.  It normalizes that too and gives me hope.

In what ways do you resemble the unforgiving servant?

Rafael Rosario

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