Thursday 13th August – Thursday of week 19 of the year

Reflection: Matthew 18:21- 19:1


One major determinant of peaceful co-existence is ‘forgiveness’. In today’s gospel reading, Jesus indicates what we wish ourselves each time we pray the “Lord’s Prayer”: that when we do not forgive others, we can never receive forgiveness from God in heaven. Where there is no forgiveness, there can never be peace. Little wonder there is a multiplication of chaos, anarchy, and terrorism among other vices in our families, Churches, local communities and the world at large today. These vices are  consequences of unforgiveness.

Beloved, to forgive may be difficult but it is a divine injunction which invokes God’s grace upon us. We can change the world by our personal resolution to do as God has directed us, bearing in mind the extent to which Christ suffered in order to bring us forgiveness. Indeed, more than anything else, Christ’s command to forgive is itself an invitation to share in the life of our Heavenly Father who constantly forgives us.

Is there someone you have sworn never to forgive or have anything to do with because of something bad he did to you? Reflect on Jesus’ words in today’s reading: “…and that is how my heavenly Father will deal with you unless you each forgive your brother from your heart” (Mt 18:35). Make up your mind today to forgive every hurt that comes your way. One practical way to achieve this is to readily forgive even before you are hurt. Though it may be difficult we can count on God’s grace. He will definitely help us.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, please forgive me all my sins and give me the grace as I resolve to make peace with all men by compassionately forgiving those who hurt me. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 24 – What does it mean to say, “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us”?

Merciful forgiveness—the mercy that we show to others and the mercy that we ourselves seek—is indivisible. If we ourselves are not merciful and do not forgive one another, God’s mercy will not reach our hearts.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Forgive your neighbour the wrong he has done, and then your sins will be pardoned when you pray” Sirach 28:2 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Joshua 3: 7-11, 13-17; Psalm 114: 1-6; Matthew 18: 21-19:1


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