3rd Week of Lent : Tuesday 14th March 2023

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To experience God’s compassion, we must extend the same compassion to others

3rd Week of Lent : Tuesday 14th March 2023

Dan. 3:25,34-44; Ps. 24:4-9;
Mt. 18:21-35 (Ps. Wk. III)

Today, as we did in an earlier reading, we link God’s forgiveness of our sins with our readiness to extend forgiveness to those we feel have offended us (sometimes, it is more in our touchy imaginations than in reality!). The First Reading has been described as one of the most beautiful prayers in the Old Testament. It is put in the mouth of one of the three young men condemned to death in a fiery furnace by the King of Babylon for refusing to bow down in adoration before a huge golden statue he had erected. In the midst of the fire, Azariah throws himself completely at the mercy of God as the only one who can save him and his companions.

The Gospel tells us that God’s compassion is undoubtedly there, but one important condition is made clear in the parable that Jesus tells. The king had written off a huge debt owed by one of his officials, but that same official refused to allow another servant a longer time to repay his much smaller debt.

The message is clear: if I want to experience God’s compassion, I must extend the same compassion to my brothers and sisters. And we affirm this, again and again, every time we say the Lord’s Prayer – “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” Do we realise the meaning of these words which trip so quickly off our tongues? Right now, is there any person I need to forgive?

Remember Your compassion, O Lord.

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