Posted by: frburke23 | March 10, 2015

Thought for Tuesday, 3rd Week in Lent

Matthew 18:21-35

Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
“Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive him?
As many as seven times?”
Jesus answered, “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.
When he began the accounting,
a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back,
his master ordered him to be sold,
along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’
Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
who owed him a much smaller amount.
He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
‘Pay back what you owe.’
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
But he refused.
Instead, he had him put in prison
until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master
and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant!
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?’
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.”

===============================================

Thank you all who prayed for the Men’s 4th Spanish Cursillo this past weekend.  It was a very powerful experience of God’s grace.  It never ceases to amaze me what God can do in three days.  People enter as strangers and leave as brothers in Christ.  One of the key moments of most retreats is the time for confession and receiving God’s mercy.

As we continue our spiritual spring training today, we are called to look at the fundamental of forgiveness.  I’m sure we have all felt like Peter at the beginning of this passage.  You can imagine that someone has wronged Peter again and he wants to know how many times that he has to forgive.  Each one of us has been hurt by people, often by people who are closest to us.  A common question that I hear is, “How do I learn how to forgive?”  Or “I don’t know if I can forgive him/her for what they did to me”.

I think the first place to start is to see how merciful our Lord is to us.  One of my favorite Scripture stories is the woman caught in adultery.  Everyone wants to stone her, but Jesus chases them away when He says, “Let he who is sinless cast the first stone”.  Jesus is showing them and us that we are all sinners, so we shouldn’t be judging anyone else.  And then Jesus looks at the woman and asks, “Who condemns you?”  The men have all left, so she replies, “No one sir.”  Jesus tells her, “Nor do I.  Now go and sin no more.”

Jesus showed her mercy and she became one of His closest followers for life.  She never forgot that moment of mercy from our Lord and it changed her life.

Often when we have a hard time forgiving someone, it means that we have not taken the time to reflect on our own sinfulness and our need for God’s mercy.  Before I enter the confessional, I remind myself of my need for God’s mercy.  I am there to be an instrument of His infinite love and mercy.  And I actually experience God’s love and mercy moving through me to the person confessing his/her sins.

In today’s Gospel, the man who is forgiven a huge debt does not pass along the same mercy to his servant.  We pray in the Our Father – “forgives us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”  We are going to be forgiven in the measure that we forgive others.

Another helpful hint is to spend time meditating on Jesus on the cross.  After being beaten, spat upon, tortured and crucified, Jesus looked upon the soldiers and his persecutors with mercy, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”  He wasn’t excusing their behavior as if it didn’t happen, but He was recognizing that they were blinded by sin and didn’t recognize Him as the Son of God.

If you need to forgive someone, go to the cross.  Ask the Lord for His grace to forgive others.   Often people hurt us without intending to do so.  And even if they do, we need to pray for them.

Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”  (Mathew 5:43-44)

Do I need to forgive someone today?

Do I need to ask for forgiveness today?

Giving and receiving forgiveness sets us free from the bonds of hatred and revenge.  Lord, teach me how to forgive.

Have a blessed day!

Fr. Burke

Here is the Spanish translation:

MATEO 18:21-35

En aquel tiempo, Pedro se acercó a Jesús y le preguntó: “Si mi hermano me ofende, ¿cuántas veces tengo que perdonarlo? ¿Hasta siete veces?” Jesús le contestó: “No sólo hasta siete, sino hasta setenta veces siete”.
Entonces Jesús les dijo: “El Reino de los cielos es semejante a un rey que quiso ajustar cuentas con sus servidores. El primero que le presentaron le debía diez mil talentos. Como no tenía con qué pagar, el señor mandó que lo vendieran a él, a su mujer, a sus hijos y todas sus posesiones, para saldar la deuda. El servidor, arrojándose a sus pies, le suplicaba diciendo: ‘Ten paciencia conmigo y te lo pagaré todo’. El rey tuvo lástima de aquel servidor, lo soltó y hasta le perdonó la deuda.
Pero, apenas había salido aquel servidor, se encontró con uno de sus compañeros, que le debía poco dinero. Entonces lo agarró por el cuello y casi lo estrangulaba, mientras le decía: ‘Págame lo que me debes’. El compañero se le arrodilló y le rogaba: ‘Ten paciencia conmigo y te lo pagaré todo’. Pero el otro no quiso escucharlo, sino que fue y lo metió en la cárcel hasta que le pagara la deuda.
Al ver lo ocurrido, sus compañeros se llenaron de indignación y fueron a contar al rey lo sucedido. Entonces el señor lo llamó y le dijo: ‘Siervo malvado. Te perdoné toda aquella deuda porque me lo suplicaste. ¿No debías tú también haber tenido compasión de tu compañero, como yo tuve compasión de ti?’ Y el señor, encolerizado, lo entregó a los verdugos para que no lo soltaran hasta que pagara lo que debía.
Pues lo mismo hará mi Padre celestial con ustedes, si cada cual no perdona de corazón a su hermano”

_____________________________________________________

Gracias a todos los que oraron por el Cuarto Cursillo en Español de Hombres este fin de semana pasado. Fue una experiencia muy poderosa de la gracia de Dios. Nunca deja de sorprenderme lo que Dios puede hacer en tres días. Las personas entran como extraños y se van como hermanos en Cristo. Uno de los momentos clave de la mayoría de los retiros es el tiempo para la confesión y recibir la misericordia de Dios.

A medida que hoy continuamos nuestro entrenamiento espiritual de primavera, estamos llamados a ver lo fundamental del perdón. Estoy seguro de que todos nos hemos sentido como Pedro al comienzo de este pasaje. Se pueden imaginar que alguien se volvió a equivocar con Pedro y él quiere saber cuántas veces tiene que perdonar. Cada uno de nosotros ha sido lastimado por gente, a menudo por personas que están más cerca a nosotros. Una pregunta común que escucho es, “¿Cómo puedo aprender a perdonar?”, O “Yo no sé si puedo perdonarle a él / ella por lo que me hicieron”.

Creo que el primer lugar para comenzar es ver cuán misericordioso es nuestro Señor con nosotros. Una de mis historias favoritas de la Escritura es la mujer que fue sorprendida en adulterio. Todos quieren apedrearla, pero Jesús les ahuyenta cuando dice: “El que esté libre de pecado lance la primera piedra”. Jesús les muestra a ellos y a nosotros que todos somos pecadores, así que no debemos juzgar a nadie. Y luego Jesús ve a la mujer y le pregunta: “¿Quién te condena?” Todos los hombres se han ido, por lo que ella responde: “Nadie señor.” Jesús le dice: “Yo tampoco. Ahora ve y no peques más.”

Jesús le mostró misericordia y ella se convirtió en uno de Sus seguidores más cercanos de por vida. Ella nunca olvidó ese momento de misericordia de nuestro Señor y le cambió la vida.

A menudo cuando tenemos dificultad para perdonar a alguien, quiere decir que no hemos tomado el tiempo para reflexionar en nuestro propio pecado y nuestra necesidad de la misericordia de Dios. Antes de entrar al confesionario, me recuerdo a mi mismo de mi necesidad de la misericordia de Dios. Estoy ahí para ser un instrumento de Su infinito amor y misericordia. Y realmente experimento el amor y la misericordia de Dios que se mueve a través de mí hacia la persona confesando sus pecados.

En el Evangelio de hoy, el hombre al que se le perdona una enorme deuda no le pasa la misma misericordia a su siervo. Oramos en el Padre Nuestro – “perdona nuestras ofensas, como también nosotros perdonamos a los que nos ofenden.” Vamos a ser perdonados en la medida que nosotros perdonamos a los demás.

Otro consejo útil es pasar tiempo meditando en Jesús en la cruz. Después de haber sido golpeado, escupido, torturado y crucificado, Jesús vio a los soldados y sus perseguidores con misericordia, “Padre, perdónalos porque no saben lo que hacen.” Él no estaba excusando su comportamiento como si no ocurrió, pero Él estaba reconociendo que estaban cegados por el pecado y no lo reconocieron como el Hijo de Dios.

Si necesitas perdonar a alguien, ve a la cruz. Pídele al Señor por Su gracia para perdonar a los demás. A menudo las personas nos hacen daño sin intención de hacerlo. E incluso si la tienen, tenemos que orar por ellos.

Jesús dice: “Han oído que se dijo: ‘Ama a tu prójimo y odia a tu enemigo” Pero yo les digo: Amen a sus enemigos y oren por quienes los persiguen.” (Mateo 5: 43-44)

¿Necesito perdonar a alguien hoy?
¿Necesito pedir perdón hoy?

Dar y recibir el perdón nos libera de las ataduras del odio y la venganza. Señor, enséñame a perdonar.

¡Tengan un día bendecido!
Padre Burke


Responses

  1. Thanks Fr. Burke….Had you in my prayers…Spiritual Spring training was missed.

    Your words here….
    so we shouldn’t be judging anyone else…..when one judges it does not mean we are condemning them (I view it as we love them)….It is God‘s job to do the condemning.

    Lets not forget about the first Spiritual work of Mercy (Admonish Sinners). Mother Angelica listening to her yesterday on ETWN had a great program on ….something that stood out with me, in some of her words were …we are not being merciful when we don’t tell others what they are doing is wrong…..pain is a Act of God’s Mercy.

    Great article here:
    http://thedivinemercy.org/library/article.php?NID=3482

    Admonish Sinners
    This work of mercy — “tough love,” you could call it — is one of the hardest to practice in the western world today. Why? Because we live in the “I’m-OK-you’re-OK” culture. As such, I have my own personal set of values, and you have your own personal set of values, and we are each free to practice those values to our heart’s content just as long as we do not do grievous bodily harm to others in the process (although that limitation is waived when the “others” in question are unborn children, the chronically ill, and elderly)…………Can finish reading it on the website provided.

    Another great article
    http://www.catholicbible101.com/judgenot.htm

    Let’s take a look at this strange philosophy and dissect it. First off, “to judge”, as it is used in “Judge not, lest you be judged”, means to condemn someone on moral grounds, and then to pass judgment. Only God can condemn and pass judgment. “To judge” as it is used here does not mean that people cannot discern that an act is sinful, nor does it mean we can’t tell the sinner that he or she is sinning. If that were so, then parents could not ever tell their child that it is wrong to lie, to cheat, or to steal. And if the child were caught in the act, then no parent could tell him or her that they were wrong. And they could certainly not ever punish the child, because there could never be any wrongdoing. How dumb is that? Carried to its logical conclusion, no one could ever tell anyone that anything is sinful or wrong, including fornication, adultery, stealing, murder, taking the Lord’s name in vain, etc. And we would have to fire every judge in every courtroom worldwide. St. John the Baptist, the greatest man born of woman, according to Jesus, certainly told Herod that it was wrong for him to have married his own brother’s wife. And John the Baptist was certainly not judging Herod himself, but rather, he was judging his action as sinful. BIG difference.

    James 5:20: let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. ……………..continue reading on website above.

    Luke 17:3 Be on your guard! If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.

    Matthew 18:15 “If your brother sins [against you], go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.

    In need of forgiveness always,
    Rhonda

  2. It has taken me a long time to forgive a hurt which was done to me however if I can still remember it, have I truly forgiven?


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