March 21, 2017

March 21

March 21, 2017:  Tuesday, 3rd week, Lent

See 14 connections with today?
Legend at bottom
For gospel

    • Look it up/ Presley, Orrall: country song with verse about how hard it is for us to forgive ("forgiveness... It's what Jesus has in store for you, but I don't...") This Bailey/Lowe cover avoids the original's bad language.  lyrics+
For 1st reading
For Psalm 25
    Fiery furnace
  • Dn 3:25, 34-43  Azariah's prayer in the fire: “Don't take away your mercy.  We're brought low because of our sins.  Receive us with contrite heart and humble spirit; so let our sacrifice be as we follow you unreservedly.  We follow you with our whole heart, we fear you, and we pray to you.  Deal with us in your kindness and great mercy.  Deliver us....”
  • Ps 25:4-5ab, 6-7bc, 8-9  "Remember your mercies, O Lord."  Teach me your ways; guide me in your truth.  You guide the humble to justice...
  • Mt 18:21-35  Peter / Jesus:  “If my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him?  Seven times?” / “77 times.  The Kingdom may be likened to a king settling accounts with his servants.  A debtor owing a huge amount begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I'll pay you back,' and the master forgave the loan.  When the debtor left, he seized a fellow servant owing a much smaller amount:  ‘Pay up.’ / ‘Be patient; I'll repay you.’  But he refused and had him put in prison.  His fellow servants, disturbed, reported the affair to the master, who told him, ‘I forgave you your debt because you begged me.  Shouldn't you have taken pity on your fellow servant?’  Then his master had him tortured.  Forgive your brother from your heart!”
        with Azariah, Hananiah, and Mishael
      • Creighton:  In addition to asking ourselves how often we forgive others, let's ask how often we forgive ourselves.  Do we have expectations of ourselves that are practically impossible to achieve, and can we forgive ourselves when we fall short?...
      • One Bread, One Body:  "The path to peace":  After God gave his people the law and the prophets, they still struggled to grasp his ways.  God's next step was to send Jesus to teach us; he taught us to forgive repeatedly.  Jesus made God's paths known to us:  the path of forgiveness, the way of the cross.  "Father, forgive them...."  The Lord sends us people close enough to hurt us deeply and often. Will we forgive them repeatedly from the heart?
      • Passionist:  The 1st reading recounts the losses ancient Jews suffered:  assets their opponents seized.  God allowed their enemies to overrun them:  “We're reduced, brought low…”  “We have no prince, prophet, leader, sacrifice,... to find favor with you.”  Their religious practices have been demolished.  All they have is their prayer: “With contrite heart and humble spirit let us be received,…”  They're like the debtor begging for mercy.  In these readings we face our own limited resources:  we can't be reconciled with God on our own.  Thank God for Christ's work of redemption and for the Sacraments.  At times we may think we're OK on our own, but such self-reliance can evaporate, as happened with the Jews when they lost their temple worship.
      •  "How often shall I forgive?"  When the Israelites rebelled against God, God left them on their own till they cried out for mercy.  Daniel recounts the story of Daniel and his three young friends, all exiled to Babylon.  When the king threw them into the furnace, they cried out for mercy for themselves and all his people. "Deal with us in your forbearance and mercy."  God's "mercies never end; they're new every morning."  God's mercy towards me shows how he wants me to show mercy to others.  In today's gospel Jesus says there's no reckonable limit to mercy and pardon, driving the lesson home with the parable of the two debtors.  The one forgiven a debt larger than a king's ransom wouldn't forgive his neighbor 0.001% of his own debt.  We can't repay God the debt we owed him because of our sins, but he freed us in his mercy.  We must forgive our neighbor; nothing they can do to us compares with our debt to God....
      Dress legend
      • 'Fire' pin:  Azariah's prayer in the furnace; "we have no burnt offering, but let our sacrifice come to you as if it were" (1st reading)
      • Abacus' tie pin:  King settling accounts (gospel); you promised to multiply the offspring of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel... (1st reading)
      • 'Star' tie pin: the stars of heaven (1st reading)
      • 'Roads' tie:  Make Your ways known to me; teach me Your paths; guide me...  (psalm)
      • 'Heart' pin:  We follow you with our whole heart; receive us with contrite heart... (1st reading); forgive from the heart (gospel)
      • 'Lamb' tie bar: if we were offering thousands of fat lambs (1st reading)
      • 'School' pin:  Teach me your paths (psalm)
      • 'Coin' tie bar:  king settling accounts (gospel)
      • '?' tie pin:  How many times do I have to forgive?  (gospel)
      • 'Clock' pin:  "Be patient with me, and I'll pay you back in full." (gospel)
      • 'Hand' tie pin:  Master 'handed' unmerciful servant over to the torturers (gospel)
      • Purple shirt:  Lenten season

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