Jesus tells Peter how many times to forgive - Catholic Courier

Jesus tells Peter how many times to forgive

Jesus tells Peter how many times to forgive
Bible Accent: The Book of Sirach
Saint for Today: St. Guy of Anderlecht

Jesus tells Peter how many times to forgive

From reading of Sunday 9-11-11

Peter came to Jesus with a question that had been troubling him. “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times seven?” 

Jesus looked at his friend and decided to answer the question with a story. “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.”

Jesus described a man who had a servant that owed him a very large debt but was unable to pay it. In order to reclaim his money, the man ordered that the servant, his family and all of his possessions be sold as payment for the debt.

But the servant pleaded with his master. “Be patient with me,” he said, “and I will pay you back in full.” The man was touched by his servant’s honesty and sincerity, so he forgave him of the entire debt. This same servant who had been forgiven was not as compassionate to the people who owed him money. Now that he no longer owed a debt to his master, any money he could raise would be his to keep. He went first to a man who owed him a small amount of money and tried to choke him.

“Pay back what you owe,” he demanded. This man said to him, “Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.” But the servant did not forgive him and had him thrown into prison for his debt. Some of the other servants learned about what had happened and reported it to the master. The master had the servant brought back in front of him to ask him about what he had done.

“You wicked servant!” the master said. “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?” The master was very angry, so he had the unforgiving servant thrown into prison until he was able to pay off his debt. Then Jesus said to Peter, “So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”

Matthew 18

1. What did the master do when his servant asked for more time?
2. What did the servant do to the man who owed him money?

Bible Accent: Book of Sirach

On Sunday, Sept. 11, the first reading from the Old Testament is from the Book of Sirach. This is not one of the more well-known books of the Old Testament. What do we know about the Book of Sirach? It is a collection of poems and wise sayings that were written by a man named Jesus (not Jesus, the Son of God), who was the son of Eleazar, the son of Sirach, and it includes a foreword by the author‘s grandson. The Jesus who wrote this book wanted to share his love of the laws of God, the priesthood and worship. Because the ancient Jews did not agree with some of the teachings and personal beliefs of the book’s interpreter, the book was not made part of the Jewish canon, and it is not part of the Protestant versions of the Bible. It is part of the Catholic Bible, however, and can be found between the Book of Wisdom and the Book of Isaiah.

Saint for Today: St. Guy of Anderlecht

Guy of Anderlecht (d. 1012) was born in Belgium into a poor, but happy and spiritual family. His parents could not afford to send him to school, but they were able to teach him about their faith and about how to lead a good Christian life. Guy never complained about living in poverty but instead considered it a blessing, and he often asked God to give him the grace to live as a poor man with happiness and gratitude. He also possessed a deep love for the people, especially other poor people, who shared the world with him. Guy was fooled into investing his meager savings in a business venture that failed. He had hoped to raise more money to help others. After this he vowed never to place such a value on money, and he made a pilgrimage to Rome and Jerusalem. Along the way he visited many of the holy sites of the time. We honor him on Sept. 12.


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