St. Augustine Catholic Church     314-385-1934

Not seven times but seventy-seven times

Pastor’s Pen
St. Augustine Catholic Church
Sunday, September 13, 2020

  Twenty-fourth Sunday of Ordinary Times

My Brothers and Sisters,

In the African parlance before Christianity came, the slogan about forgiveness is limited to three times. In the Jewish milieu, it was seven times and no more. But in our Christian era, Christ has taught us that forgiveness has no limit. When Peter the apostle came to Jesus, he asked him, “How many times will my brother offend me and I will forgive; is it not seven times? Jesus answered, “Not seven times but seventy-seven times.” That is to say, no limit. He then narrated to them this nice story: There was a king who wanted to settle his account with his servants.  One was brought to him who owed him a huge amount but there was no way he could repay it. His master ordered he would be sold together with his wife, children, and all his possessions so that he would be able to liquidate this debt. This servant fell on the ground and begged for time to be able to repay the debt. Moved with compassion, his master forgave him all of the debt.

When he got out, he saw his fellow servant who owed him a small amount. He seized him and started to choke him, demanding his money. This fellow servant begged for time to be able to repay him, for which, he refused. Instead he put him into prison until he was able to repay him. The servant’s master heard this story and called him. He said to him, “Did I not forgive you the debt you owed me?  Could you not have done the same for your fellow servant?” In anger, he handed him over to the torturers until he was able to pay the whole debt. In conclusion, Jesus said, “This is how God himself will treat us if we fail to forgive our neighbors from our heart.”  That is why in the Lord’s Prayer which Christ taught us, he said, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; but if we fail to do so He himself will not forgive us our own offences.” (Matthew 6:14)

Peace and love,

Fr. Chris


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