March Madness – Good News for March 17

17 03 2009

It’s a guaranteed trip to the Final Four…

Matthew 18:21-35

Peter approached Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?”

Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the accounting, a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount. Since he had no way of paying it back, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife, his children, and all his property, in payment of the debt.

At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’ Moved with compassion the master of that servant let him go and forgave him the loan. When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a much smaller amount. He seized him and started to choke him, demanding, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ But he refused. Instead, he had him put in prison until he paid back the debt.

Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were deeply disturbed, and went to their master and reported the whole affair. His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’ Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt. So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart.”

The Daily Path: We are now in the midst of what is know as March Madness. The college basketball season is building to a crescendo with its tournament to decide the national champion. Teams like St. Mary’s College work hard all season to get to the Big Dance. Most of the basketball experts believed that coach Randy Bennett’s Gaels deserved to be selected for the 64 team field. On Sunday, the team along with hundreds of friends, family and other students gathered together to watch the televised tournament selection announcement. Unfortunately, St. Mary’s was not chosen despite an outstanding 26-6 record. The players were crestfallen. For some, this was there last shot at the tournament. Years of sweat and dedication would not be rewarded to its fullest. 

As I thought about the disappointment felt by our local heroes, I also reflected on God’s promise to each of us. Christ tells us that if we work hard to live a life that is pleasing to God, we will be selected for the Biggest Dance of all. Even if we pick up some losses along the road, our sweat and determination will earn us a spot alongside God in the Kingdom of Heaven. No experts other than God will determine our worthiness to play. It’s a guaranteed trip to the Final Four… Father, Holy Spirit, Son and… YOU.

(Note: Despite their exclusion from the NCCA tournament, the Gaels were rewarded with a trip to the prestigious NIT (National Invitational Tournament) and a #2 seed. Congrats to Coach and all the Gaels on a great season!)

Room to Chat: Find a moment today to ask St. Patrick to drive the snakes out of your heart. Be safe today.

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