13, మార్చి 2023, సోమవారం

 

Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent

Daniel 3:25, 34-43

Matthew 18:21-35

Forgiveness leads to Freedom

Dear brothers and sisters in christ jesus, the readings of the day focus on Prayer for Protection and Forgiveness.

1st reading:

The Context : Nebuchadenezzar, the king of Babylon, sets up a huge statue (Probably His or His Gods) in the centre of Babylon and orders everyone to bow down and worship and whosoever refuses to heed the command are punishable by death and will be thrown into the high voltage furnace blazing high.

But the Hebrews officials, especially  Shadrach, Meshach and Azariah refused to bow down and worship, then they were summoned before the king to give their account. The king was enraged with anger and ordered  them to be thrown into the furnace. Here in this context Azariah makes a wonderful prayer for God’s Mercy and Protection.

At the moment of their agony, they were content with one thing that they have been faithful to God and His call and never turned away from Him. Azariah prayed to God praising and thanking for all the blessings. He prayed for God’s will and pleaded for forgiveness for the times they were not able to worship as they were abandoned in Babylon without any leader. He prayed to receive them with their contrite heart and humble spirit. And thus placed their situation at the feet of the Lord’s mercy and protection. 

God heard their prayers and saved them, everyone along with Nebuchadenezzar witnessed the Presence of Living God.

 

Everytime we recite Our Father, (the Lord’s Prayer) we pray for forgiveness “forgive us as we forgive those who sin against us.” it’s a courageous prayer, to be honest it’s not easy to forgive. It's a hard task indeed. Because the pain, the grief that arises from the offences,hurts and opinions of the others makes it even impossible to face.

Today in the Gospel, St. Peter asks how many times should I forgive my brother?, well he thought he was very generous with 7 times but Jesus multiplied it and places no limit to it. There is no quantity and there is no fixed quota, that we should forgive only these many times. But everytime one genuinely repents and returns, he has to accept, forgive and renew the relationship. God acts in the same way. 

An Example:

The act of forgiving: we are in controle. when we forgive we relieve another person’s debt and we are on the other hand released from the pain and can move. Therefore it’s a kind of freedom we experience at the moment.

The act of asking for forgiveness: we are at the mercy of Giver.

In the parable when the servant appears to be sincere and pleads for mercy and time,  the king was so generous that he forgave the total debt. He was freed.  But the same servant could not forgive his fellow servant who vowed only a little amount compared to him. Instead he seized, choked and demanded to be paid immediately. Unfortunately he was not sincere in his repentance, thus he lost the mercy of the King too. here:

The king represents God, He has forgiven completely and in return we are encouraged to forgive others. There is no “ifs and Buts” and there is no limit to forgiving. But if we try to hold it ourselves there is a risk of losing God’s mercy in our lives.

      Forgiveness leads to freedom

      Forgiveness renews relationships

      Forgiveness consists of a “Give and Take” system.

      Forgiveness is not turning blind eye to the wrong but restoring the broken one.

      Forgiveness is to form an alliance with God


“with contrite heart and humble spirit let us be received” (Daniel 3:39)

“forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Matthew 6:12)

 

 FR. JAYARAJU MANTHENA OCD

 

 

 

11వ సామాన్య ఆదివారం

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