Scripture Reading: Matthew 18: 31-35

Our Lord Jesus Christ warns us of the consequences of an unforgiving heart. “In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.” (vs. 34, NIV) The king’s righteous indignation was stirred. He cast the unforgiving servant into prison for his unwillingness to forgive his fellow servant’s debt. Just as our Lord Jesus Christ warned His disciples and warning us today. when we are unforgiving, our fellowship with the Lord is distanced. What greater torment is there for the child of God? We cannot be right with God and unforgiving at the same time.

I remember about ten years ago I went to a non-Christian relative in my village seeking reconciliation between her and my older brother whom, she said, had wronged her. I started by saying “Mama, if I have ever done anything wrong to you, please forgive me” She replied: “I have no problem at all with you. Have you ever heard me saying anything bad about you?” Then she angrily concluded: “But I will never forgive your brother”.

The great Bishop of Geneva, St. Francis de Sales, was intensely hated by a lawyer, who shot at the Saint; he missed Francis, but struck Priest who was standing with him. Accordingly, the would-be assassin was sentenced to death. Francis, however, pleaded on his behalf, and his death sentence was commuted. Even so, the lawyer showed no gratitude, but actually spat in Francis’s face. The Saint responded sadly, “I have been able to save you from human justice, but unless you change your dispositions, you will fall into the hands of Divine Justice, from which no power can save you.” As St. Francis shows us, the fact that not everyone will accept our offer of forgiveness does not excuse us from the obligation of extending it.

Brethren, the warning in today’s Scripture reading coupled with the warnings that is in Matthew 6 have often troubled me. Below I list only eight of these bitter effects if a Christian person refuses to forgive: Unforgiveness is a sin. It will separate you from God. The Holy Spirit will depart from you. Unforgiveness will open doors for other evil spirits to attack you. Unforgiveness will open doors for sickness to attack you. Unforgiveness will invite the spirit of revenge and murder into your heart. Unforgiveness will hinder your progress and blessings. You will live an unhappy life. If you die without repenting of the sin of unforgiveness, you may end up in Hell.

Child of God, do not jeopardise your eternal salvation because of unforgiveness. Repent now of this sin and ask God to forgive you as you start a new life. Replace unforgiveness with love and praying for those you have done wrong. If you do this, God will bless you abundantly and you will be set free.

MASS: WHITE OUR LADY OF SORROW, (MEMORIAL) Heb 5:7-9; Ps 31:1-2ab.2cd-3.4-5.14-15.19(R.16b), Gospel Jn 19:25b-27 OR Lk 2:33-35

Prayer Points:

1.         Take the prayer point as of yesterday

2.         Take the prayer of St. Francis of Assisi in DSD section

Exercise: Take the Lord’s prayer

Meditation: Matthew 18:15-17