The Catholic Calendar for Thursday, August 16, 2007
Thursday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

St. Stephen of Hungary

Scripture from today’s Liturgy of the Word:
Joshua 3:7-10a, 11, 13-17
Psalm 114:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
Matthew 18:21–19:1

A reflection on today’s Sacred Scripture:

St. Peter was taught by Jesus to forgive his brother, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
(see: Matthew 18:21) 

That’s a lot of forgiveness!  We might think that’s unattainable, but how many times would we like to be forgiven?

I’d like to be forgiven more than seventy-seven!

How many times do we find ourselves saying, “I’m sorry,” with the hope of hearing, “I forgive you,” in return?  And what if our brother refuses to forgive us right then and there? Well, we wish he would, so our messy slate can be cleared and we won’t feel so bad! But we should be seeking forgiveness so our brother won’t feel bad! That’s what Jesus means to forgive from our heart.

With this in mind, we can ask God to present another opportunity with this brother to receive the forgiveness we were hopeful for. And He will. If our brother is ready to forgive but doesn’t have the courage or humility to say, “I’m sorry,” we may see our chance emerge as a smile, a pleasant greeting or maybe even a hug – so when that opportunity arrives, we should embrace it!  I don’t know about you, but I’ll take a big ol’ smile or a whopping hug to a shrug seventy-seven times!

Chances are, so will our brother.

– Elizabeth Tichvon email: elizabethtichvon(at)comcast(dot)net


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