Seventy times seven

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Sunday, September 17, 2017 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time 1st Reading: Sirach 27:30—28:9 2nd Reading: Romans 14:7-9 Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35 eter asked Jesus, “Lord, how many times must I forgive the offenses of my brother or sister? Seven times?” Jesus answered, “No, not seven times, but seventyseven times.

“This story throws light on the kingdom of heaven. A king decided to settle the accounts of his s e r vants. Among the first was one who owed him ten thousand gold ingots. As the man could not repay the debt, the king commanded that he be sold as a slave with his wife, children and all his goods in payment.

“The official threw himself at the feet of the king and said, ‘Give me time, and I will pay you back everything.’ The king took pity on him and not only set him free but even canceled his debt.

“This official then left the king’s presence and he met one of his companions who owed him a hundred pieces of silver. He grabbed him by the neck and almost strangled him, shouting, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ His companion threw himself at his feet and asked him, ‘Give me time, and I will pay everything.’ The other did not agree, but sent him to prison until he had paid all his debt.

“His companions (…) reported everything to their lord. Then the lord summoned his official and said, ‘Wicked servant, I forgave you all that you owed when you begged me to do so. Weren’t you bound to have pity on your companion as I had pity on you?’ The lord was now angry, so he handed his servant over to be pun-

Pished...” D@iGITAL-EXPERIENCE (Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life

Experience) I recall an unforgettable experience during the World Youth Day that I and some other priests attended in Germany in 2005. We booked a hotel in advance just in case the accommodation would be problematic.

True enough, we were just given classrooms without heaters as sleeping quarters and the temperature was freezing cold. We decided to avail of our hotel accommodation. I called up the hotel named Hotel Arian, and an arrogant receptionist picked up my call. With patience I succeeded in confirming our accommodation. After settling down in our room, we decided to go out for an early dinner. While at the lobby I could hear a receptionist badmouthing somebody over the phone. I recognized the voice. It was the same lady I talked to.

“Is there a Rossdel Noel in your group?” she asked. I didn’t realize she was talking to me so I didn’t mind her. This time she raised her voice. That was the last straw. I threatened her with a formal complaint. She mellowed down and apologized. That melted my heart. If forgiveness should be seventy times seven times, then the lady deserved forgiveness for she had maltreated me only twice.

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