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.”
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.
The God who loves us
“God, who loves us, gave us life.”
So starts St. Ignatius’ First Principle and Foundation, the core set of beliefs and insights about who God is and who we are.
God loved us first, and God continues to be love and to stir love in our hearts.
When Jesus asks us to forgive from our hearts, he’s inviting us to start from that place within us where the God of love roots us in relationship.
As we celebrate St. Patrick today, let’s remember this saint’s rootedness in a God who is loving relationship and who has invited us into that relationship from our very beginnings. Grounded in this God, Patrick was able to forgive even the people who had enslaved him.
How can we spend some time today with the God who is and who invites us into loving relationship?
—Thomas Bambrick, SJ, is a Jesuit scholastic of the Midwest Province studying at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, CA.
God, Holy Trinity,
You show us what it means to be and live loving relationship
and with all creation.
Help us to live in and from that love—
—Thomas Bambrick, SJPlease share the Good Word with your friends!