Posted by: fvbcdm | August 27, 2014

Feast of Saint Monica (27 August 2014)   

In the gospel of Matthew, Our Lord tells us the parable of one man who owed a great deal of money, and was forgiven the debt totally when he asked for more time to pay it. Then he, in turn, refused to forgive the debt of someone who owed him MUCH less.

Some years ago, before the publication of the Jerusalem Bible in English, a scripture scholar figured out the equivalent amounts that Jesus used in his parable. We are told that the one man owed nine million dollars, and was forgiven. He, in turn, would not forgive the debt of a man who owed him fifteen dollars. What Our Lord is saying, of course, is that God forgives us an enormous debt and we sometimes refuse to forgive others something very trivial.

It is a sad fact of human psychology that we sometimes hang onto grudges, resentments, an unforgiving attitude toward someone who has offended or injured us. We might not be so crude as to seek revenge or even say anything about the offense, but in our own hearts we continue to “punish” our offender by thinking negatively toward him or her.  And then, we listen to the words which we say so often in the “Our Father,” taught us by Our Lord: forgive us our trespasses AS WE FORGIVE those who trespass against us. We better listen carefully to what we’re asking for. In other words, read the fine print. God will treat us as we treat others in terms of forgiveness, pardon, mercy.

Many of the saints have had the spiritual maturity to welcome offenses and injustices or injuries, because these things give us the opportunity to be merciful and forgiving, and this in turns gives us the right to expect the mercy and forgiveness of our Heavenly Father when the time comes for our judgment. Remember, God forgives us nine million dollars; we are asked to forgive about fifteen dollars. Are we willing to do that? Thank you for seeking God’s truth, God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This Message was composed some years ago.

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