Daily Archives: March 25, 2019

26 March, Tuesday – Tit for Tat

26 March 2019

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Daniel 3:25,34-43

Azariah stood in the heart of the fire, and he began to pray:

Oh! Do not abandon us for ever,
for the sake of your name;
do not repudiate your covenant,
do not withdraw your favour from us,
for the sake of Abraham, your friend,
of Isaac your servant,
and of Israel your holy one,
to whom you promised descendants as countless as the stars of heaven
and as the grains of sand on the seashore.
Lord, now we are the least of all the nations,
now we are despised throughout the world, today, because of our sins.
We have at this time no leader, no prophet, no prince,
no holocaust, no sacrifice, no oblation, no incense,
no place where we can offer you the first-fruits
and win your favour.
But may the contrite soul, the humbled spirit be as acceptable to you
as holocausts of rams and bullocks,
as thousands of fattened lambs:
such let our sacrifice be to you today,
and may it be your will that we follow you wholeheartedly,
since those who put their trust in you will not be disappointed.
And now we put our whole heart into following you,
into fearing you and seeking your face once more.
Do not disappoint us;
treat us gently, as you yourself are gentle
and very merciful.
Grant us deliverance worthy of your wonderful deeds,
let your name win glory, Lord.

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Matthew 18:21-35

Peter went up to Jesus and said, ‘Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? As often as seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times.

  ‘And so the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who decided to settle his accounts with his servants. When the reckoning began, they brought him a man who owed ten thousand talents; but he had no means of paying, so his master gave orders that he should be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, to meet the debt. At this, the servant threw himself down at his master’s feet. “Give me time” he said “and I will pay the whole sum.” And the servant’s master felt so sorry for him that he let him go and cancelled the debt. Now as this servant went out, he happened to meet a fellow servant who owed him one hundred denarii; and he seized him by the throat and began to throttle him. “Pay what you owe me” he said. His fellow servant fell at his feet and implored him, saying, “Give me time and I will pay you.” But the other would not agree; on the contrary, he had him thrown into prison till he should pay the debt. His fellow servants were deeply distressed when they saw what had happened, and they went to their master and reported the whole affair to him. Then the master sent for him. “You wicked servant,” he said “I cancelled all that debt of yours when you appealed to me. Were you not bound, then, to have pity on your fellow servant just as I had pity on you?” And in his anger the master handed him over to the torturers till he should pay all his debt. And that is how my heavenly Father will deal with you unless you each forgive your brother from your heart.’

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Treat us gently, as you yourself are gentle and very merciful

I had a bit of a run-in with a vendor last week at work and came away disappointed at his attitude towards not just me, but to his situation as a young business owner. To be fair to the young chap, he did call me 30 minutes later to apologise for his attitude but the damage had been done and all I said was “It’s OK. It is just work.” Having been in his shoes before as a small business owner, I was flabbergasted that he would have used the language he did in our chat. Back in the day, however ‘bad’ a situation got with any client of mine, I still respected them as my customers and would never talk back at them.

Perhaps times have changed and the newer generation of entrepreneurs is more vocal and are prepared to stand their ground more, or even turn their back on a customer because they believe in their principles. So in calling for a ‘clear the air’ meeting within 48 hours, I took the approach of offering everyone around the table a chance to learn from this experience. I decided that the best outcome would have to stem from a gentler approach to the situation and in hearing all the grievances and challenges the young team faced in trying to deliver our project.

In today’s gospel, Jesus uses the parable of the ungrateful servant to demonstrate how God will look upon us on our day of reckoning. For it is not so much how we treat those who are good to us that matters, but those who wrong us. How Christ-like are we going to be to the neighbour who always parks in our spot, to the family member who finds a way to always use our favourite mug or even our own bathroom? How do we react to a boss who has a habit of speaking ill of us in front of our colleagues, or a ministry member who talks a lot at meetings and then does not show up when it matters. Are we compassionate, or do we pass judgement, as if we are God?

Brothers and sisters, if we go about our daily lives looking to judge others for their actions without first understanding why they seem to always be doing us wrong, then we are not destined for happiness. Because we will end up questioning others all the time, instead of embracing them and acknowledging their weaknesses and faults. The more we can get rid of this ‘tit for tat’ mentality in our lives, the more open we are to allow God’s healing graces to flow within us.

Then, as we learn to embrace others, warts and all, we will come to the realization that all of us are the same in the eyes of God. That no one deserves more or less than the other brother or sister; everyone deserves the same measure of love from God – infinite, boundless and indescribable.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Desmond Soon)

Prayer: Father, grace us with the humility of Mother Mary and the love of your son Jesus Christ so that we can in turn love as they did.

Thanksgiving: We thank you Father, for your gift of love.