3rd Week of Lent : Tuesday 22nd March 2022

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We have absolutely nothing to offer God , except a contrite heart and a humble spirit

3rd Week of Lent : Tuesday 22nd March 2022

Dan. 3:25,34-43; Ps. 24:4-5,6,7,8-9;
Mt. 18:21-35 (Ps Wk III)

Azariah appeals to God to not abandon His people, although they have sinned against Him in his prayer. Azariah recalls the covenant God made with the nation of Israel. He admits that Israel has become “the least of all the nations” its people “despised throughout the world because of our sins”. Therefore, Israel has nothing to offer God to gain His favour except for a “contrite soul and a humbled spirit…” and the assurance that from now on, the people will follow God wholeheartedly.

In the gospel passage, Peter asks Jesus, “How often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me?” Peter was asking this question in the context of someone in the Christian community who sins repeatedly. Then, Peter himself gives a number, “seven times”. Jesus replies to Peter by correcting him, “Not seven, but seventy-seven times”. The number is not to be taken literally. Jesus is pointing out that Christians have no right to place any limit on forgiveness.

The lesson we can learn from the readings today is that God is ever forgiving, as long as a sinner is repentant for his or her sins. In the same way, we too are asked to forgive others if they confess their sins to us. However, we can only do this if we recognise that we are also sinners and require forgiveness. Like Azariah, let us admit to God that we have absolutely nothing to offer Him but a contrite heart and a humble spirit.

Lord, help me to forgive as You do.

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