The Unmerciful Servant (Mt 18:21, 19:1)
O Jesus, fill my heart with the Holy Spirit.
Picture Jesus with his disciples.
The parable is about the Last Judgment and highlights the greatest demand upon every disciple, learning how to forgive. The warning is serious. God, who has granted the disciple forgiveness, will revoke that forgiveness if he does not extend forgiveness. Here everything is at stake. The parable offers a unique comfort. If we forgive others, then God’s mercy extends beyond this world to the Final Judgment.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
The Kingdom of heaven is like a King who decided to settle all his accounts. One servant owed him ten thousand talents. The King wanted his family and his goods sold so payment could be made. The servant said, “Have patience with me and I will pay everything.” Moved with pity, the king forgave the debt.
When this servant left, he found his fellow-servant who owed him a hundred pence. Laying hands on him, he said, “Pay what you owe.” The fellow-servant, prostrating himself, said “Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.” However, he would not. Instead, he threw him into prison until the debt was paid.
The other servants were very grieved and told the King what had happened. He called the servant and said, “Wicked servant, I forgave you the entire debt when you asked me. Should you not, then, have compassion on your fellow servant as I did on you?” Filled with anger, he handed the servant over to the torturers until he paid all. So shall my heavenly Father do to you, if you do not forgive all your brothers from your heart.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- An “accounting” always represents the Final Judgment.
- For the true disciple, this Final Judgment will be filled with mercy.
- The first servant claims that he will repay the debt. However, the amount he owes is astounding.
- So, the King forgives the whole debt unconditionally.
- Although forgiven, the disciple does not imitate the King’s forgiving generosity.
- The other servants (disciples) know that this violates the King’s desires.
- The King is forced to reverse his decision. Mercy turns into Judgment.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, how much I owe you! I can never repay it.
- Lord, may the moment of my judgment be always before my eyes.
- I will give mercy so I can receive mercy.
- O Jesus, you have revealed the great secret.
- Teach me to “forgive from my heart.”
- Open my eyes to see how great is your patience with me.
- Inebriated by your mercy, I will forgive all who harm me.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own)
+ Today, I will think only of God’s patience and mercy to me.
+ I will show forgiveness to everyone.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)
Moved with compassion, the King forgave the whole debt.