March 17, 2020
Mar 16, 2020
Daily Reflection for Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners!
We encourage you to read today’s scriptures at the following link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the references are:
Reading 1: Daniel 3:25, 34-43
Responsorial: Psalm 25:4-9
Gospel : Matthew 18:21-35
Our reflection on Tuesday’s readings:
Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan. Matthew 18:27
Reflecting on today’s gospel revived a long-ago memory that still makes me wince. The gist of it was that I thoughtlessly and insensitively shared some negative feedback about a coworker’s ministerial performance with one of our superiors. My coworker was understandably angry and upset. When he confronted me, I instantly knew he was right; I had handled the matter badly and done him an injury. I was filled with remorse—for the wrong I’d done to him and for the regret and humiliation I’d brought on myself. It was a long, painful evening for both of us. The next morning I apologized in person and delivered an apology letter. This gracious man accepted my apology. The sense of relief and peace I experienced was a tremendous gift that still touches me today.
The parable in today’s gospel tells another forgiveness story that doesn’t end as well. Jesus’ hearers would have heard much more than we do in our contemporary translations of this gospel.
A servant owes his master an astronomical sum that he could never repay. Scripture scholars say the amount was the equivalent of 150,000 years of a servant’s wages. Moved with compassion, his master forgave the debt. But the ungrateful servant refuses to forgive his fellow servant who owes him only the equivalent of 100 days’ wages. When the master learns of the servant’s refusal to extend mercy, he hands him over for punishment. Jesus finishes the story by saying the same will happen to us unless we forgive each other from the heart.
In Lent we seek forgiveness from God. Today’s parable teaches that being forgiven by God isn’t just for our own good. It’s meant to ripple out in our forgiveness of others, whether they deserve it or not. The one thing we are here for is to bring God’s love into our world.
Forgiveness is never easy. There is something in us that wants to hang onto resentment and anger, especially when we feel we are right and another person is wrong. But would you rather be right or filled with peace?
Is there some hurt that keeps you bound up in anger or unhappiness? Can you let it go as Jesus teaches, as much for your own peace as for the good of another? Is there someone who needs your forgiveness today?
Wishing you God’s blessings,