Tuesday of the Third WeekReflection
Today’s readings speak of mercy and forgiveness. In Deuteronomy, the prophet Azariah begs God for forgiveness for the sins of the Israelites, reminding God of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Israel. As the Israelites are wandering in the desert they have no opportunity to atone for their sinfulness through burnt offerings or first fruits. The Psalm 25 asks God to remember His mercies and to “teach me your paths”.
In the Gospel, Matthew 18:21-35, Peter asks Jesus how often he must forgive a brother who sins against him. Jesus replies, “not seven, but seventy-seven times”. He then recounts the parable of the King who forgives his servant a large debt, only to have that servant condemn a fellow servant who owed him a much smaller amount. The King then deals harshly with the first servant, and Jesus notes that those of us who do not forgive our brothers “from your heart” will be condemned by God the Father.
This parable certainly brings to mind the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”, but even more so the more literal translation of the Lord’s Prayer, “. . . forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”. Clearly the point is that we cannot expect to be shown mercy if we do not show it to others.
PrayerLord, teach me to be merciful so that I may receive Your mercy.
Bill Thompson, Member of the Worshiping Community
ScriptureFirst Reading: Deuteronomy 3:25, 34-43
Psalm: 25:4-5ab, 6-9
Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website