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24th Sunday Yr A – Is God’s forgiveness conditional?

September 5, 2011

Download 24th Sunday Yr A

Reflection Questions

  1. The Book of Sirach was also known as the ‘Church Book’ as it was used to instruct new candidates for Baptism with all its lessons of wisdom for living.  Today, forgiveness is the theme. Are you ‘hugging tightly’ any anger or resentment? What behaviour is this causing in your life?
  2. Breaking the chain of hurt, unforgiveness, violence is extremely difficult. Can you ‘remember the Most High’s covenant’ (the forgiveness of our sins on the cross) and knowing our faults have been overlooked… ‘overlook faults’?
  3. Today is the final Sunday this year we hear from St Paul’s letter to the Romans. Tensions existed between Jews who kept all their ‘laws’ and customs faithfully, and Gentiles who did not feel the obligation of the ‘laws’ and ‘customs’ of the Jews. Do you identify with a particular ‘group’ within the Church? Do you create barriers and ill feeling toward ‘others’ not in ‘your group’? Paul reminds us we are not individuals or ‘groups’ but one. How could you be an agent of ‘unity’?
  4. Encouraged from the previous Gospel episode of forgiveness, Peter asks Jesus precisely how generous does one have to be toward someone who has sinned. Rabbi’s taught three times. Peter suggests a large and generous amount using the perfect number 7. Jesus pronounces an uncountable amount: 77 (double perfection!). Justice and its strict legal prescription is to be overwhelmed by Mercy and God’s love. Do you have a struggle with forgiveness? Acceptance of or Giving of? Consider what you need to do.
  5. 10,000 talents is very descriptive. 10,000 is the largest number in Jewish Arithmetic. And the word ‘talent’ is a greek word for a weight of metal. It is the largest unit of measurement. 10,000 talents is equal to our phrase ‘billions of dollars’. It is an unrepayable debt. Strikingly it is ‘forgiven’. This same servant then refuses to ‘forgive’ someone owing him $100. He has been unmoved by the forgiveness offered him. Have you allowed God’s forgiveness on the cross to profoundly change you? How could you express your acceptance of God’s incredible forgiveness?
  6. A parable has within it the seed of subversion of the currently established patterns of operating. The King (God) in the parable offers forgiveness, and yet the full meaning of the parable indicates this forgiveness is conditional. The receiver is expected in turn to forgive. This is dangerous and unexpected. God could change and take back an earlier decision? What will happen to me? What does living forgiveness involve for me?
  7. What is one action that you will do to ‘livetheword’ this week?

 

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