Reading 1 SIR 27:30—28:7
Wrath and anger are hateful things,
yet the sinner hugs them tight.
The vengeful will suffer the LORD’s vengeance,
for He remembers their sins in detail.
Forgive your neighbor’s injustice;
then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven.
Could anyone nourish anger against another
and expect healing from the LORD?
Could anyone refuse mercy to another like himself,
can he seek pardon for his own sins?
If one who is but flesh cherishes wrath,
who will forgive his sins?
Remember your last days, set enmity aside;
remember death and decay, and cease from sin!
Think of the commandments, hate not your neighbor;
remember the Most High’s covenant, and overlook faults.
We sinners know what’s wrong but still choose to do it. Why? These sins that we keep committing recur as habitual sins. Or we switch up our sins. The beautiful part of it is that God is merciful and full of grace. We are wiped clean and are as pure as white snow. This does not mean keep sinning. We need to stop sinning because how we love the Lord is by serving Him. One of the ways to serve Him is by loving our neighbors as well. When people do wrong to us or hurt us, we have to forgive them as God forgives us. What God gives us should flow from us, especially grace and mercy. We cannot be selfish with the gifts God give us because then we would be hypocrites. How can we not give to others what God gives to us, and how would we feel if God didn’t give them to us?
Reading 2 ROM 14:7-9
Brothers and sisters:
None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself.
For if we live, we live for the Lord,
and if we die, we die for the Lord;
so then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
For this is why Christ died and came to life,
that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
We should be living for God. Everything we think, say, and do should be for His glory. Our lives should not be for our own comfort, pleasure, and enjoyment. We are here to serve and model Jesus, our Lord and Savior. We are called to a life of humility, not to boost ourselves. At the end of our lives, we cannot take anything anyway from this world except our relationship with Jesus. He is the Ruler of all, and we need to recognize our lives are His, not ours.
Gospel MT 18:21-35
Peter approached Jesus and asked Him,
“Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive?
As many as seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the Kingdom of Heaven may be likened to a king
who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the accounting,
a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back,
his master ordered him to be sold,
along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’
Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
who owed him a much smaller amount.
He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
‘Pay back what you owe.’
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
But he refused.
Instead, he had the fellow servant put in prison
until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master
and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?’
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will My heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.”
The Gospel is related to the First Reading. The servant was forgiven by the master but could not forgive his fellow servant. He looks like such a hypocrite. This is how we are when we don’t forgive those who hurt us. It does not matter what they’ve done or how many times they’ve done it. Jesus wants us to forgive them. I know now we think about the best friend that cheated with your boyfriend, the parent that abused you, the bully that picked on you, and so on. But all of these must be let go of in our hearts. We have to move on from the pain and hurt and choose to still love them. Not forgiving those who wronged us is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. It also offends God. When we have too much pride to forgive others, we are saying that we think we are better than God. That we are too good to do things that He even does. We need to swallow this pride and learn that love heals all.