Mt 18,21-35

Stand in God’s presence. God is present here and now, looking upon you with love.

Ask for the Grace: I will beg God our Lord that all my intentions and actions may be directed purely to the praise and service of His Divine Majesty

Fixing a place, a picture for meditation: imagine someone asking for something, e.g. a favor, debt relief, forgiveness …

Ask for the fruit of meditation: that I would like to take small steps towards Jesus 

1.Then Peter came and to him, Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times? (Mt18,21). Very often we would like to clearly specify << how much? >> for our internal or external certainty. Peter asks Jesus << how much?>>, I wonder what could motivate him, what was happening inside him; saying seven times already he was generous?Jesus’ reply: <<Not seven times, but I tell you, seventy-seven times.>> (cf. Mt 18:22) introduces an infinite amount of forgiveness – always. God is not tired of forgiveness. What moves me in this attitude of Jesus?

2. In those social conditions, incurring debts was commonplace. One servant had a small debt owed to his fellow servant: one hundred denarii, which is the equivalent of one hundred working days in Israel. Such debt contrasts strongly with the debt of the servant of the Lord – ten thousand talents are a huge sum, impossible to pay back; the talent was six thousand denarii. So, we have a great numerical contrast. In the face of such a great debt, the servant could only count on his generosity. And here lies the main meaning line of this parable. (For the living word of God is effective … Biblical comments for readings for year A, S. Ormanty TChr, Hlondianum, Poznań 2007, 313). What does this parable encourage you in your life situation, where you are? Which debtor are you more aware of? Why did your fellow servants tell you about everything that happened? How could you feel being the master of the parable?

3. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart (Mt 18, 35).

Pope Francis in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium in point 44 wrote: … A small step, in the midst of great human limitations, can be more pleasing to God than a life which appears outwardly in order but moves through the day without confronting great difficulties. Everyone needs to be touched by the comfort and attraction of God’s saving love, which is mysteriously at work in each person, above and beyond their faults and failings.

Forgiveness is a process that needs time and continuous re-starting by taking small steps. The gradual forgiveness adds hope that you can do it. What moves or touches you in this?

Meditation: St Ignatius encourages in The Spiritual Exercises No. 2 … Because not so much knowledge, but internal feeling and the taste of things please and saturate the soul, that is, we stay where we feel interior movement … and nervously do not try to go on.

The final conversation: Spend a little time at the end, being with God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit….as you would with a good friend: sometimes talking, sometimes listening, sometimes being together in silence. Speak to God about your feelings. Remember that times when ‘nothing is happening’ can also be significant. When you’re ready, end your prayer by saying thank you or using words that are familiar, such as the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father)–whichever feels right and comfortable. (The Spiritual Exercises No.54)

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