September 17 2023 Gospel Reading and Reflection

9/17/2023 (Sunday) Today’s gospel reading: Matthew 18:21-35

21 Peter approached Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive? As many as seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
23 That is why the kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
24 When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
25 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.
26 At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’
27 Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan.
28 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.’
29 Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
30 But he refused. Instead, he had the fellow servant put in prison until he paid back the debt.
31 Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master and reported the whole affair.
32 His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
33 Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’
34 Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt.
35 So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.”

9/17/2023 (Sunday) Today’s gospel reflection: Matthew 18:21-35

Let us recall that the gospel passage above follows immediately the instructions of Jesus on how to discipline an erring member of our community. Let us remember what He said. First, talk to that member privately. If he doesn’t listen, bring witnesses. If he continue not to listen, let the whole church especially the community elders such as priests and pastors. If that erring member is still adamant, treat him like a gentile or tax collector.

In the gospel reading above, Jesus tells us to forgive without limit. Thus we must be able to forgive any erring member of our community, no matter how many times he commits sin. The parable above mentions the words patience and compassion. In other words, we must always be patient with our brothers and sisters. We must love them just as Jesus has loved the gentiles and tax collectors during His time on earth. We can impose disciplinary actions as a means for them to realize their mistake and mature in faith but we can’t condemn them and push them out of our community. We pray for them unceasingly because in the end, it is only God who has the power to change people. We can only allow ourselves to be used by God as the conduit of His mercy and grace. When we show others our sincerity to forgive, their hardened hearts might soften and they will repent and turn from their wicked ways.


We have heard that forgiveness is for our own good. When we forgive, we experience joy and peace of mind. It is never easy to forgive especially if the other person commits the same mistake over and over. Yet with humility and prayers, nothing is impossible. God has forgiven us and He is asking us to do the same. God cannot tell us to do something that we cannot afford to do. Many times it is huge ego that prevents us from forgiving others. Let us pray that God may help us to cut down our pride and start forgiving others.

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Gospel Reading with Reflection for September 17, 2023
Gospel Reading with Reflection for September 17, 2023

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