Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.“
For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt.
But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place.
Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
A much-used marketing slogan is “the gift that keeps on giving.” The idea expressed is that the item being marketed is not just for one-use or one-person consumption, but rather that it can be shared with others and enjoyed repeatedly.
Today’s Gospel is about forgiveness. Jesus knows how we are—that I will decide when, and if, I will forgive somebody. Perhaps after they apologize. Jesus teaches that God doesn’t decide whether to forgive us; he just cannot help himself. God’s forgiveness is overflowing—flowing continuously in all directions for everyone and anyone.
We too do not run out of our personal supply of forgiveness. I know this is true from personal experience: forgiveness given multiplies and grows in the giver even more. Aren’t God’s gifts of grace like this? Love. Compassion. Generosity. Kindness. Indeed, these are the gifts that keep on giving.
—Fr. Glen Chun, S.J. is a campus ministry chaplain at Loyola University Chicago, IL, as well as the peripatetic minister of the Loyola University Jesuit community.
Lord, teach me to be generous, to serve you as you deserve:
to give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds;
to toil and not to ask for rest; to labor and not to ask for any reward,
but that of knowing that I do your will.
—St. Ignatius LoyolaPlease share the Good Word with your friends!