Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.“ For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made.
So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’
But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved (http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations)
The summer recreates for me a renewed interest in the world outside the office. For me, summer seems less an event than when I was a child because so much of it now is spent indoors in a meeting or classroom where the months meld into one single impression. As a child I remember going to the relative’s farm in northern Illinois where summer’s full expression was seen in corn fields, barn cats, and cows. What impressed me even as a child was the silence of the farm where, especially in the early evening, when you could hear the crickets, song birds, and the contended sounds of the animals.
Silence seems such a rare commodity these days. With the advance of technologies, what was once rural and isolated areas are now inhabited by cell phones and iPads. Silence has become an uncomfortable situation now mitigated by the every possible device that creates a wall of insulation against the outside world. We listen but only to what we wish. Our Holy Father, during his visit to the United States reminded us of the importance of listening and taking time to place ourselves in silence so as to hear God speak to us.
Have we perhaps lost something of the art of listening? Do you leave space to hear God’s whisper, calling you forth into goodness? Friends, do not be afraid of silence or stillness. Listen to God, adore him in the Eucharist. Let his word shape your journey as an unfolding of holiness. Perhaps during this time of summer we can spend some time in silence, away from the noise and burden of cell phones and music and listen to the whisperings of God.
—Fr. Michael Maher, S.J.
Lord, we pray that we give ourselves permission to slow down and really take in the beauty and magic of the moment. When we really notice the natural beauty on our ride to work, when we savor the taste of our food; when we delight in our children and grandchildren’s laughter; when we feel so wonderful when our dogs wag their tails and greet us with utter adoration, we experience your Spirit. Lord, if we but give you a chance to speak to us in the extraordinary moments of an ordinary day, we will fill up on your love. We will realize that you are seeking us with never ending persistence. Lord, here I am. I am ready to follow you. I do anticipate a few surprises that will mirror your care for me this day.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team