An act of forgiveness

Matthew 18: 21-35

“Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, if my brother or sisters keeps on sinning against me,
how many times do I have to forgive him? Seven times?”
“No, not seven times,” answered Jesus, ‘but seventy time seven, because the Kingdom of heaven
is like this. Once there was a king who decided to check on his servants’ accounts. He has just
begun to do so when one of them was brought in who owed him millions of pounds. The servant
did not have enough to pay his debt, so the king ordered him to be sold as a slave, with his wife
and his children and all that he had, in order to pay the debt. The servant fell on his knees
before the king. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay you everything!’ The king felt
sorry for him, so forgave him the debt and let him go.
“Them the man went out and met one of his fellow servants who owed him a bit of money. He
grabbed him and started choking him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ He said. His fellow servant
fell down and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back!’ But he refused; instead,
he had him thrown into jail until he should pay the debt. When the other servants saw what
had happened, they were very upset and went to the king and told him everything. So he called
the servant in. ‘You worthless slave!’ He said. ‘I forgave you the whole amount you owed me,
just because you asked me to. You should have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had
mercy on you.’ The king was very angry, and he sent the servant to jail to be punished until we
should pay back the whole amount.”
Lord God, we thank you for your love, forgiving us when we sin, when we are unkind, or
unfair, or selfish. Help us when we are hurt to forgive others, and to be fair even if others
are unfair. We pray for people we find it hard to like: Help us to be kind to them. Help us to
forgive them, as you forgive us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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