Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
It can be really hard to forgive people. It can feel like someone is always doing something wrong, annoying, or rude to you. But how do you handle these debts against you?
Even the Apostles found it difficult to forgive. It can be infuriating when someone does the same thing wrong all the time, so Peter wanted to know how many chances someone is supposed to get before you no longer need to forgive them. Well, Jesus throws yet another curve ball by teaching us that we are always supposed to forgive, no matter how many times someone sins against you.
We are always supposed to forgive others, but we must be truly merciful, just like God is. We can't be like the servant who seeks forgiveness but doesn't forgive his friends. How often do you want your parents to forgive you without giving you a punishment? How often do you wish your teacher didn't lower your grade for not turning in your homework? How often do you wish someone totally forgave you for an offense and acted as if it never happened? Well, God forgives sins and lovingly looks at us as if our sins had never happened. But we must forgive others in the same way! We need to be merciful to receive mercy.
Forgiving others like God wants to forgive us is really hard. We all have deep hurts that can be so hard to forgive and let go because of how deep that pain is. You might not be able to forgive someone all at once, but God wants us to always strive to be merciful like He is. Jesus died on the Cross for us for our sins, our offenses against God and each other, and even now through the sacrament of Reconciliation. We can receive perfect mercy and love and God wants us to share that with others.
The degree to which we show mercy to those who have hurt us is reflected in the mercy God will show us. The servant in today's Gospel did not show the same mercy and forgiveness his master showed to him, and thus his master treated him in the same manner. God, our Master, wants us to forgive others so that we may receive the fullness of His mercy, just like parable. How much mercy would you like to receive?
Now, you may heard all of this before and have gotten bored reading this reflection. Well, we talk about forgiveness so much because it is so central to the Gospel message. Christ came to forgive us. Now we go out and forgive others just like He does.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
How often do you need to forgive people for any kind of offense? Do you really forgive them or do you hold grudges?
Are you in need of forgiveness? Who have you hurt or offended since your last Confession?
Are you forgiving others in the same way you want God and other people to forgive you?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"Lord, have mercy."
"Lord, heal me."
"Lord, I need you."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Today, seek forgiveness and to forgive others. Go to someone you have offended and sincerely apologize to them. Seek their mercy. Also, pray the Act of Contrition. If you do not know it by heart, Google it. Seek God's mercy and let His love for you be reflected in your love and mercy towards others.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Mary Griffin, a graduate student of theology at Franciscan University of Steubenville.
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