Tuesday, March 21, 2006
As we forgive those who trespassed against us  

One of the challenges to today's Gospel is understand what the keys to forgiveness are. According to our Lord, there are several keys. First, we must forgive, if we want to be forgiven. There is no way around this. The servant who owed the huge sum of money was forgiven. But in a foolish act, he failed to forgive the poor servant who owed him a small amount of money. His foolish behavior was punished.

The second key seems to be that we quickly forgive. We must be prepared to forgive in the heat of a moment. The second servant begged for mercy, but the first servant forgot how he had just recently done the same. The first servant did not catch himself and change his attitude. Instead of recognizing that this was his opportunity to be merciful, he had the servant thrown in jail. Ironically, that was where he himself would wind up because he failed to forgive.

Perhaps the first servant will later regret his decision to demand payment from the second servant. However, at that point it might be too late. How often do I give myself the satisfaction of not forgiving someone quickly with the presumption that I will be able to forgive them later? Before forgiving, I would like to hold a grudge for a least a little while. No, our Lord is clear that I must quickly forgive.

Another key to forgiveness is gratitude. If the servant had been grateful for what he had been forgiven, he would not have sought out a fellow servant who owed him money. Instead, he would have been ready to show his gratefulness to the king by emulating his behavior and forgiving the debt of the second servant.

Finally, we need to understand the depth of our sin. The first servant clearly did not realize how much debt he had been forgiven. If he had, he would not have wasted his time trying to recoup a small amount of money from a fellow servant. Instead, he would have been in awe of the mercy shown him, and he would have been moved to show mercy.

Lent is a wonderful time to reflect on forgiveness. It is the essence of the Faith. If we are united with God, it is because He has forgiven us. He expects no less from me. When I am wronged, I must forgive no matter how difficult it may be. It moves me closer to God and those around me.

Posted by David at 1:16 AM  |  Comments (0)  | 


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