Cycle A

Good News A42

Forgive Seventy Times Seven Times

Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time


Matthew 18:21-35 New American Bible

Matthew 18:21-35 Bible Gateway New International Version


"Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?"


Jesus says you should forgive your brother not seven times but seventy times seven times. If you do a little math here, that equals 490 times. Now that’s a lot of times. He says that God will not be happy if you do not forgive your brothers as he has forgiven you.

Your parents forgive you when you forget to do our jobs around the house. If you do the same thing once a day for a whole year, then that would mean forgiving you 365 times in a row, and then 125 days into another year. It’s not good to keep a record of the sins of others. That is God’s job to keep a record and to judge. It is your job to forgive yourself and others

Staying angry at someone for hours, days, and years is not good for our health. Talking to that person about why you are angry and trying to make peace is healthy. If someone is so angry that they will not accept another’s apology and request for forgiveness, this is sad. God wants you to forgive yourself and others for your human mistakes. Even if you’ve already forgiven someone for doing something so many times you cannot remember the number, God still wants you to forgive again. God sent his only begotten Son to die on the cross for your sins. Your sins are forgiven because of God’s love and mercy. Therefore, He expects you to forgive others who sin against you.

It is good to say to someone, “I’m sorry. Will you forgive me?” When they say, “I forgive you,” it gives you a glorious feeling. It lifts you up and makes you feel accepted, loved, and valuable. When you forgive others, you are passing those good feelings along. They will come back to you again and again, lifting your spirit higher and higher. You will be happier and happier because you are doing God’s will. God will look down on earth and say, “Thank you for forgiving yourself and others, as I have forgiven you. You are my child. I am proud of you. I love you very much. Thank you for your loving ways.” 

Pray the “Our Father.” Thank God for the gift of forgiveness. Ask God to help you love and forgive quickly and easily.


“Our Father, who art in Heaven,

Hallowed be Thy name.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day, our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

As we forgive those who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.”



Copyright ©2002, 2004 Joan Y. Edwards