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March 22, 2022

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DG BookGospel: Matthew 18:21-35
Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, how many times must I forgive the offenses of my brother or sister? Seven times?” Jesus answered,
“No, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. This story throws light on the kingdom of Heaven: A king decided to settle accounts
with his servants. Among the first of them was one who owed him ten thousand pieces of gold. As the man could not repay the debt,

the king commanded that he be sold as a slave with his wife, his children and all his goods, as repayment. The servant threw himself at the feet of
the king and said, ‘Give me time, and I will pay you back everything.’ The king took pity on him, and not only set him free, but even canceled his debt.
When this servant left the king’s presence, he met one of his fellow servants, who owed him a hundred pieces of silver. He grabbed him by the
throat and almost choked him, shouting, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ His fellow servant threw himself at his feet and begged him, ‘Give me time, and I
will pay everything.’ But the other did not agree, and sent him to prison until he had paid all his debt. Now the servants of the king saw what had
happened. They were extremely upset, and so they went and reported everything to their lord. Then the lord summoned his servant and said, ‘Wicked
servant, I forgave you all that you owed me when you begged me to do so. Weren’t you bound to have pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’
The lord was now angry. He handed the wicked servant over to be punished, until he had paid the whole debt.” Jesus added, “So will my heavenly
Father do with you, unless you sincerely forgive your brothers and sisters.”

 

Reflection:

 

Jesus had just spoken about the lost sheep, and the need
to win back a sinful sibling. Peter got the point—we must
be generously merciful. But to what extent? So, he asks:
How many times should I forgive? Seven times? After all,
Peter held the keys! What good is a key if it cannot lock some
people in and some people out? Power does not feel like power
until it draws a limit and excludes. But Jesus dismisses the limits
and leaves them open-ended: “seventy times seven” meaning,
unlimited! What Peter forgot is that the key can also be used to open
the shut doors to let people in and let people free! Jesus wants
Peter to use the keys to leave his Church eternally open! Ask
yourself: Am I holding anyone to ransom by the negative power
of my keys?

 

 

© Copyright Bible Diary 2022

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