Today’s Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35
Today’s Gospel is the story Jesus told of the unforgiving servant. Though this servant begged for mercy and was forgiven of a tremendous debt, he did not pass on that mercy to others.
This story is a vivid illustration of “what goes around, comes around” when we allow self-preservation to drive our choices and habits. What, perhaps selfish, choices got the servant into such a huge debt to the king to begin with? The consequences affected his entire family. They were headed into slavery or prison. But the king, like God our heavenly King, treats the reckless servant with compassion and doesn’t just lessen the debt, but forgives it entirely. If the servant had treated others with that same kind of compassion, loving mercy would have passed through many lives to make this a joyful circle story. Unfortunately, in this cautionary tale, we see that when we refuse to treat others with the mercy and compassion that God lavishes upon us, God allows our selfishness to result in our own self-destruction instead.
Rather than allowing ourselves to be weighed down by self-indulgence, debt, anger, and reluctance to forgive, let’s choose the path of today’s saint, Margaret of Clitherow. She was literally crushed for her Catholic faith, but she was completely liberated in that sacrifice as a martyr. Her life of spiritual generosity was a circle story of sacrifice, compassion and mercy that she received in abundance in the presence of God.
How am I allowing my reluctance to forgive to weigh me down today?
Jesus, please allow the mercy that I have received from You to flow generously from my heart in mercy and compassion for others.
Copyright 2019 Cathy Gilmore
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