Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew.

Peter came up and asked Jesus, “When a sister or brother wrongs me, how many times must I forgive?  Seven times?”  “No,” Jesus replied, “not seven times; I say, seventy times seven.  That is why the reign of God may be said to be like a ruler who decided to settle accounts with the royal officials.  When the audit was begun, one was brought in who owed ten million dollars in silver.  As the debtor had no way of paying, the ruler ordered this official to be sold, along with family and property, in payment of the debt.  At this, the official bowed down in homage and said, ‘I beg you, your highness, be patient with me and I will pay you back in full.’

“Moved with pity, the ruler let the official go and wrote off the debt. Then that same official went out and met a colleague who owed the official twenty dollars in silver.  The first official seized and throttled this debtor, with the demand, ‘Pay back what you owe!’ The debtor dropped to the ground and began to plead, ‘Just give me time and I will pay you back in full.’  But the first official would hear none of it, and instead had the colleague put in debtor’s prison until the money was paid.  When the other officials saw what had happened they were deeply grieved, and went to the ruler to report the entire incident.  The ruler sent for the first official and said, ‘You worthless wretch!  I canceled your entire debt when you pleaded with me. Should you not have dealt mercifully with your colleague, as I dealt with you?’  Then in anger the ruler handed the official over to the torturers until the debt had been paid in full.

The One who sent me will treat you in exactly the same way unless you truly forgive your sisters and brothers from your hearts.”

The Good News as spoken through Matthew.

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