Sunday, August 14, 2016

Pay back what you owe

Matthew 18:21--19:1

I want to look at this past tuesdays readings.  I have been a bit under the weather as they say.  So i have been delayed.

It is a beautiful gospel for us to meditate on in light of the Jubilee Year of Mercy.

Peter asks the question, "Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him?"

Like Peter, we too what to know when we can say enough is enough.  We too want to draw the line in the sand and say no more, off with you I am out of mercy and forgiveness.

But Jesus tells us that seventy-seven times, or in other words, we never have the right to refuse forgiveness to any one.

We might be shocked at such a sentiment or truth.  But when have we ever know God to close the fountain of mercy to us or any one for that matter.  The fountain is never closed.  God never says enough.  God never say no.

Jesus simply wants us to live in our life toward others as God is toward us which is most perfectly exemplified in the Cross of Christ: Mercy is never closed off but rather it is crucified for the sake of the other.

Then we encounter the story Jesus tells to help us put a picture to what he is saying.  In the story there is a king looking to collect his debts.  A servant owes more than he can pay and begs to be forgiven.  The king obliges and forgives the debt that is owed.

The same servant finds a fellow servant who owes a much smaller amount and retaliates and demands payment rather than mirror the mercy he has received he becomes stingy an bull headed and mean, "pay back what you owe" he demands.

It doesn't turn out well for that servant.  Then Jesus tells us unless we forgive our brother from our heart  our Father will not forgive us.

First all we must know that compared to our offense to God everything others may owe us is always much smaller.  Too often we make the offense of our brother bigger than our own offense against God. This is a terrible thing.  Do not make things big that are really really small.

Why bother with much smaller amounts?  Forgiveness should thus be easy and readily available when we compare what we do to God and what others do to others.

Secondly, the servant begs the King to forgive his debt.  This is where the analogy fails with our relationship with God.  We do not have to beg God for Mercy.  His mercy is always readily accessible and available.  We just have to receive it.  In fact, each day, through out the day we should pause and look up and just say "Lord, I receive for mercy."  We should gulp it up whole and entire.  Only then can we be givers of the same mercy to others.  If we think God is stingy with mercy then we will be stingy and this is in correct.

Lastly, the servant tells the other servant, "Pay back what you owe."
What do we owe but mercy.  Mercy is our debt to God the Father in Jesus Christ through the SPirit.  It is our final debt.  The only way to pay back this debt of Mercy we have received from the Blessed Trinity is too simply give it back, give it away.  So We should gladly pay back what owe and look for opportunities to do so.

Pax et Bonum

No comments: