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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Sunday 24th (A) in Ordinary Time

Gospel text (Mt 18,21-35): Peter asked Jesus, «Lord, how many times must I forgive the offenses of my brother or sister? Seven times?». 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 the accounts of his servants. Among the first was one who owed him ten thousand gold ingots. As the man could not repay the debt, the king commanded that he be sold as a slave with his wife, children and all his goods in payment. The official 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.

»This official then left the king's presence and he met one of his companions who owed him a hundred pieces of silver. He grabbed him by the neck and almost strangled him, shouting, ‘Pay me what you owe!’. His companion threw himself at his feet and asked him, ‘Give me time, and I will pay everything’. The other did not agree, but sent him to prison until he had paid all his debt.

»His companions saw what happened. They were indignant and so they went and reported everything to their lord. Then the lord summoned his official and said, ‘Wicked servant, I forgave you all that you owed when you begged me to do so. Weren't you bound to have pity on your companion as I had pity on you?’. The lord was now angry, so he handed his servant over to be punished, until he had paid his whole debt». Jesus added, «So will my heavenly Father do with you unless each of you sincerely forgive your brother or sister».

Illustration: Fr. Lluís Raventós Artés

Today things become clear: we have got to forgive always («up to seventy times seven"). Just try to multiply 7 x 7 some 70 times: you won’t be able to! But God can (maybe this is why He has not yet grown weary of us nor will He eventually). Let us overlook it for it is very much what we are indebted to God for!

—The end of today's parable is heartbreaking: the heavenly Father will deliver us to the executioner«unless each of you forgive your brother or sister from your heart». Who does not forgive is unable to ask and receive forgiveness! Awful!