Lord, help me to be forgiving and compassionate... like You are to us
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A) : 13th September 2020
Sir. 27:33—28:7; Ps. 102:1-2,3-4,9-10,11-12; Rom. 14:7-9;
Mt. 18:21-35 (Ps Wk IV)
“Wrath and anger are hateful things…” These are the first words of our First Reading today. The remainder of the reading compares how God deals with us with how we can deal with others. God is merciful, and we are invited to remember God is forgiving us when we are presented with the option of mercy or justice in response to our being injured.
The Gospel is so clear that it embarrasses us. We need little assistance to find the not-so-hidden meaning in the story Jesus tells. The “wicked servant” is forgiven a huge debt by his master but then turns on his fellow servants to pay him back small debts. Forgiving from the heart is the invitation, but it is so hard to respond.
Each of us may remember the people whom we have not forgiven. It is embarrassing to pray this story and know the names of those whom we have not forgiven. What is also embarrassing is how we love the experiences and memories of our being excused, forgiven, re-embraced.
If we can receive God’s forgiveness, then we might find the grace to forgive those who punished us so cruelly. Vengeance begets vengeance, but mercy, which is above all God’s works, will be our redeeming experience.
Justice is a compassionate virtue which rejects violence as an option. Jesus challenges us to forgive and live in such a way that we can reverse the spiral of vengeance downwards and resurrect a true world-centre trading in mercy, respect, and justice for all.
The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.