Many things are happening in our world today that cause us concern – human-created situations that dominate the news. One of these is the ongoing war in Ukraine, and as I pray for its people, the Gospel passage for today becomes more challenging.
In Jesus’ parable, he says a slave person owes the king ten thousand talents; talent is the most significant possible monetary unit. It would take fifteen years for a typical servant to earn one talent, so a little math would tell us that the servant owes the king trillions of dollars! And the king decides to forgive the slave his entire debt without delay or any condition.
God’s forgiveness to each of us is more than we can imagine. We understand that the king in this parable is God, and we are like the enslaved person. This parable reminds us that we can never repay what we owe God. However, this parable teaches that God forgives us of our debt. And will continually do so if we ask for it with sincerity.
This parable teaches us to show mercy, just as God has shown mercy to us. When we realize that God has forgiven us a mountain-sized debt and we don’t take it for granted, we can’t help but forgive others the same.
Saint Peter Julian Eymard taught how Jesus exercises his mission of mercy and said:
- God’s forgiveness makes us worthy
- God gives his mercy without delay
- God gives absolute forgiveness
- God forgives generously
God is always forgiving … He always receives with the same kindness and forgives with the same tenderness. (Meditation on the mercy of Jesus, PA 1,62)
Have mercy on me, God, in accord with your merciful love; in your abundant compassion, blot out my transgressions. Thoroughly wash away my guilt and from my sin; cleanse me. For I know my transgressions; my sin is always before me. Against you, you alone have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your eyes so that you are just in your word and without reproach in your judgment. Behold, I was born in guilt, in sin my mother conceived me. Behold, you desire true sincerity, and secretly, you teach me wisdom. Cleanse me with hyssop, that I may be pure; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. You will let me hear gladness and joy; the bones you have crushed will rejoice. (Psalm 51:1-10)
Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)
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