"How often must I forgive?"

Sunday Readings' Discussion Questions
Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time, Sep. 11, 2011 (24A)

From the
Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University

Sunday Mass Readings

Podcast of the Readings 
Video of Reflections on Readings
Lecturas y Comentarios 
New American Bible
Prayer of the Hours
BQ: What commandments require restitution?

Questions on Sunday's Readings for use by discussion groups,
prayer groups, or for individual prayer.

First Reading

Book of Sirach, Chapter 27, Verse 30; Chapter 28, Verses 1-7

1. Is it harder for you to forgive to ask for forgiveness? How good are you at overlooking the faults of others as Sirach suggests? What about this: do you forgive yourself?

2. When you want to “hug wrath and anger tight”(to paraphrase the reading), do you have ways, or people, or places where you might find help in letting your anger calm down?

Responsorial Psalm

Psalms 103:1-2, 3-4, 9-10, 11-12

1. The Psalm says the Lord is 'slow to anger, rich in compassion.' What can you learn from the Lord about dealing with anger and how to respond with love when you are inclined to condemn someone?

2. The Psalm deals with the Lords' forgiveness of our transgressions. In what way are you encouraged by the Psalm to be forgiving and compassionate to those who have offended you?

Second Reading

Letter of St. Paul to the Romans, Chapter 14, Verses 7-9

1. “None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself.” Do you live for yourself? Do you ever think about the one to whom you owe your existence? If you do, how does that play out in how you live your life?

2. Does God leave you alone in this world? Will you be alone when you die? Is it possible to have a mutual relation with the Lord? If you try to live for the Lord does he live for you also?

According to Matthew, Chapter 18, Verses 21-35

1. When you say you forgive someone, do you just say the words or do you really forgive the person in your heart? Compare “hugging the wrath and anger tight” from the First Reading with the actions of the servant in this Gospel. Is the servant a fair person? Are you? Do you give good to others since you also receive it as a gift?

2. Do you think God wants you to forgive your neighbor just for your neighbor’s sake, or for yours too? What does forgiveness do to the love that was lost? When did Jesus forgive or when did he talk about forgiveness? How did Jesus “take away the sins of the world”?

Online Sunday Bible Study Group
Please share below your reflections on the Sunday Readings. May we be blessed by God's words as reflected in your thoughts and experience-sharing. 

1 comment:

  1. Barry Lamont2:46 PM

    Our psalmist sings the praises
    of a divine and loving God,
    who surrounds us with compassion,
    pardons our sins, heals our ills.
    He nurses no lasting anger,
    He has not dealt with us as our sins deserve.
    Our duty is to remain faithful to the Lord,
    as we are His children,
    and to treat His anointed ones
    with love and compassion, as He would do.

    We are to be merciful to our enemies by imitating
    the Father. The Psalm tells us how:
    “Merciful and gracious is the Lord,
    Slow to anger and abounding in kindness.”

    Who can love their enemies, and do good to them?
    It will be difficult if we allow our earthly nature to rule us.
    Just as “God has not dealt with us as our sins merit,”
    so must we have compassion on those
    we may be inclined to condemn.

    We cannot imitate God
    without a share in Christ’s divinity,
    by allowing the holy Spirit within us to guide us.
    Only then will we have the kind of compassion
    the psalmist speaks about.

    As the Psalm says, God’s love towers over us
    if we are his faithful.
    If we love the Lord, it will show in our hearts,
    and the old things will then pass away.
    The Psalm says it well:
    As far as the east is from the west,
    so far has He put our transgressions behind us.