THE SERVANT GENERAL
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Today’s gospel: Matthew 18:21-19:1
we looked at how to handle a brother who sins against you.
The process is for the sake of unity, peace and good order
in the community, which is tasked by God to do the work of
the New Evangelization. Aside from going through the process,
there is one more important thing to do, and that is to forgive
is not dependent on the brother’s asking you for forgiveness.
And this is not dependent on how many times the brother keeps
sinning against you. “Lord, if my brother sins against
me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?”
(v.21). Notice that Peter did not say the brother had asked
for his forgiveness. And if he had to forgive as many as seven
times, then it probably meant the offender, even if he had
asked for forgiveness, was insincere. Jesus’ answer
was surprising to Peter. “I say to you, not seven times
but seventy-seven times.” (v.22). That means without
is just following in the example of Jesus. How many times
do we keep sinning against him with the same sins? If we did
not, then we would have no need of going to confession over
and over again. We should be very happy that he forgives us
time and again!
giving us the proper motivation and perspective, Jesus tells
of the parable of the unforgiving servant (v.23-35). It is
hard to forgive those who sin against us, especially those
who continuously sin against us. But our brother’s sin
against us is nothing compared to our sin against God, whom
we sent to be crucified on the cross. If Jesus forgave us,
so too should we forgive others their much lesser sins.
we do not, the consequencesno, not for the brother who
sins against usfor us will be dire. God will also not
forgive us. Then we will suffer the consequences of remaining
in our unforgiven sin.
the call to the New Evangelization, we should see that we
need to be united in heart and mind to effectively do the
work. If there is conflict and disunity, then it will negatively
affect the work. This is why we need to go through the community
process of addressing a brother who sins against us (see yesterday’s
From the SG), and this is why we need to forgive those who
sin against us. This is the only way to stop the enemy from
inflicting deep harm on the community by means of division
among the brethren.
fact we go further. When a brother speaks an angry or maligning
word against you, do not respond in kind. Rather, know that
it would be your response in kind that will cause
the conflict or division. What? I am the one maligned and
I am the cause of the division? Yes. So just forgive.