Sunday September 17
Twenty-fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Forgive others as God forgives us
  • Sirach 27:30—28:7
  • Psalm 103:1-4, 9-12
  • Romans 14:7-9
  • Matthew 18:21-35

The basic theme that runs through today’s readings is to do to others what God has done for us. When I think about all that God has done for me, I remember all the material and financial blessings he has bestowed on me and my family.
But then as I pondered deeply I realized that he has done much more than that. He has loved me when I could not even love myself. He has taken me through many storms and valleys. He has answered my prayers when I was not even faithful to my promises. He has done more for me than I could have ever done for him.
Today he is asking us to remember what he has done for us, either big or small, and do to others as he has done for us.
In the first reading from the book of Sirach, the author writes “For- give your neighbour the wrong done to you; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven” (Sirach 28:2). How many times has the Lord forgiven our sins? Do we keep a count? Is it that he has no choice but forgive our sins when we go for confession? No. He forgives our sins because of the love he has for us.
He has a desire to have us close to him. He wants nothing more than to be loved by the children he loves. Once we have received this love and forgiveness from him, he gives us a command to love others and for- give others as he has forgiven us.
The Psalmist echoes these sentiments in today’s Responsorial Psalm. “Bless the Lord, my soul; and do not forget all his gifts, who pardons all your sins, and heals all your ills, who redeems your life from the pit, and crowns you with mercy and compassion” (Ps 103:2-4). The Psalmist is re- minding us to keep remembering what the Lord has done in our lives.
In today’s Gospel proclamation the Lord Jesus is asked how many times one should forgive another person’s sins. He replies, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times” (Matthew 18:22) and tells the disciples the parable of the unforgiving servant to illustrate how important forgiveness is.
When we read this parable, we may find fault with the servant for not forgiving a small debt when he was forgiven a big debt by the master. This is our humanness.
God knows this is a weakness of humans and he wants to remind us today to forgive those around us as he has forgiven us. To love those around us as he has loved us.

Prayer: Abba Father, I ask for your grace to be able to remember what you have done for me, and to do the same for others. Amen.

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