24th Sun A
The Gospel Paraphrased
There are many fine translations of the Gospels readily available. This paraphrase is not meant to replace them. Rather the intention here is to offer a more contemporary rendering so that you can imaginatively translate the Gospel into your own situation.
This Sunday's Gospel Paraphrased
Mt 18: 21-35
After hearing Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness, Peter came up and asked him: ‘How often should I forgive someone who offends against me…up to seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘Not a mere seven times but rather seventy times seven.
‘The kingdom of heaven is like the president of a country who decided it was time to do an audit of the finances of the nation. As the accounts were done, it was found that one banker owed more in taxes than the entire annual income of the country! Since he couldn’t pay, the president decreed that all his assets were to be sold and that even his wife and children were to be liable for his debt. He pleaded, he begged with the president: “Give me time and I will repay everything.” The president had pity on him and released him of all the debt. As he left parliamentary buildings, he came across a tradesman who owed him the equivalent of a few weeks’ wages. He grabbed him and virtually strangling him, demanded: “Pay your debts! Everything! Now!” The tradesman said: “Give me time and I will repay everything.” But he wouldn’t agree. He had the tradesman arrested, tried and put in prison until everything owing him was paid back. The tradesman’s mates were horrified at what had happened and made sure the president heard of it. The banker was then called back before the president who said to him: “You wicked man! I forgave you that enormous debt. Weren’t your then obliged to show mercy to your debtor as I have shown mercy to you?” The president in his fury had him gaoled and all his assets realised towards payment of the debt.’
The Jesus added: ‘And that is how my heavenly Father will treat you, if you do not offer pardon from the heart to those who offend you.’