The unforgiving servant
Tuesday, March 6, 2018 Lenten Weekday
Gospel: Mt 18:21-35
Peter asked Jesus, “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 the accounts of his servants. Among the first was one who owed him ten thousand gold ingots. As the man could not repay the debt, the king commanded that he be sold as a slave with his wife, children and all his goods in payment.
The official 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.
This official then left the king’s presence and he met one of his companions who owed him a hundred pieces of silver. He grabbed him by the neck and almost strangled him, shouting, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ His companion threw himself at his feet and asked him, ‘Give me time, and I will pay everything.’ The other did not agree, but sent him to prison until he had paid all his debt.
His companions saw what happened. They were indignant and so they went and reported everything to their lord. Then the lord summoned his official and said, ‘Wicked servant, I forgave you all that you owed when you begged me to do so. Weren’t you bound to have pity on your companion as I had pity on you?’ The lord was now angry, so he handed his servant over to be punished, until he had paid his whole debt.”
Jesus added, “So will my heavenly Father do with you unless each of you sincerely forgive your brother or sister.”
DAILY GOSPEL IN THE ASSIMILATED LIFE EXPERIENCE:
The cemetery caretaker is wondering why a man is laughing by himself at a graveyard. The man explains, “buried in here is my identical twin, and people always mistook us for one another. At one time, for example, he raped a girl and I was the one arrested. Finally I have taken my sweet revenge on him”. “You killed him?” asked the caretaker. “No”, said the young man, “I died, he was buried.”
The man thought that the burial mistake was sweet revenge. Yet it was his twin mistakenly buried that rested in peace. Revenge may be sweet at the start, but its sweetness can slowly turn sour. Forgiveness is still the best policy.
Forgiveness is difficult but manageable to those who understand that they too need to be forgiven of a larger debt by a Master of greater stature. These are the people who know that the very first stone they cast on a sinner may end up breaking the mirror of their hypocrisy because they are actually condemning an image of themselves.
— (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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