COMMENTARY ON READING: 13 AUGUST, 2015

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Commentary on the reading of the day provided by :

Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church
Sermon 83, 2

“Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us” (Mt 5,12)

Everyone is God’s debtor and has his brother as debtor. Indeed, who is there who owes nothing to God except the one in whom no sin could be found?

And who has no brother as his debtor if not the one whom no one has offended?

Do you think you can find a single person in all humankind who is not answerable to his brother for some fault or other?

So each of us is a debtor and has debtors.

That is why the righteous God gives you a rule of conduct regarding your debtor which he follows with regard to his.

For there are two works of mercy able to set us free that the Lord himself teaches us in a few words in his Gospel: “Forgive and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given you” (Lk 6,37f.)… This refers to indulgence and kindness.

This is what he teaches us about forgiveness: you want to be forgiven for your sins and you also have sins to forgive others.

The same applies to charity: a beggar asks you an alms and you are God’s beggar, for we are all beggars of God when we pray to him.

We stand – or rather, we prostrate ourselves – before our Father’s door, before his great bounty.

Groaning, we implore him, anxious to receive something from him: now, this ‘something’ is God himself.

But what is the beggar asking you? Bread?

As for you, what are you asking God if not Christ, who said: “I am the living bread come down from heaven” (Jn 6,51).

Do you wish to be forgiven?

“Forgive and you will be forgiven.”

Do you wish to receive?

“Give, and it will be given you.”

READING OF THE DAY: 13 AUGUST, 2015

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“Peter approached Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?”

Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.

That is why the kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants.

When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.

Since he had no way of paying it back, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, his children, and all his property, in payment of the debt.

At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’

Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan.

When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller amount.

He seized him and started to choke him, demanding, ‘Pay back what you owe.’

Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’

But he refused. Instead, he had him put in prison until he paid back the debt.

Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master and reported the whole affair.

His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’

Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt.

So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”

When Jesus finished these words, he left Galilee and went to the district of Judea across the Jordan.” -Matthew 18:21-35.19:1.