Gospel: Mt 18:21-35
Then Peter asked him, “Lord, how many times must I forgive the offenses of my brother or sister? Seven times?“ Jesus answered, “No, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.
This story throws light on the kingdom of Heaven: A king decided to settle accounts with his servants. Among the first of them was one who owed him ten thousand pieces of gold. As the man could not repay the debt, the king commanded that he be sold as a slave with his wife, his children and all his goods, as repayment.
The servant threw himself at the feet of the king and said, ‘Give me time, and I will pay you back everything.‘ The king took pity on him, and not only set him free, but even canceled his debt.
When this servant left the king‘s presence, he met one of his fellow servants, who owed him a hundred pieces of silver. He grabbed him by the throat and almost choked him, shouting, ‘Pay me what you owe!‘ His fellow servant threw himself at his feet and begged him, ‘Give me time, and
I will pay everything.‘ But the other did not agree, and sent him to prison until he had paid all his debt.
Now the servants of the king saw what had happened. They were extremely upset, and so they went and reported everything to their lord. Then the lord summoned his servant and said, ‘Wicked servant, I forgave you all that you owed me when you begged me to do so. Weren‘t you bound to have pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?‘ The lord was now angry. He handed the wicked servant over to be punished, until he had paid the whole debt.“
Jesus added, “So will my heavenly Father do with you, unless you sincerely forgive your brothers and sisters.“
Read: In life and death, we belong to the Lord. Hence grudge and wrath towards others shall not have place in us. If God shows mercy to us, we are bound to show mercy to others–so reads the parable of the unforgiving servant.
Reflect: Why does the servant who was forgiven a huge debt get wrathful and unforgiving towards his servant who owed him very little? The truth is, being a recipient of mercy does not always evoke gratitude and humility, but sometimes results in shame and anger–especially when one is egoistic and feels lesser before the forgiving one. We can accept mercy only when we love and respect the one who shows mercy and feel a kinship with him. Then we are ready to share mercy with others and feel kinship with them as well.
Pray: Pray for the grace of humility to accept God‘s mercy and share the same with others.
Act: With love and compassion in heart, forgive someone who has wronged you.