In the Gospel, I noticed that the two servants uttered the same words and did the same actions as they ask for forgiveness. They both fell to their knees, saying: “Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.” And their merciful master both accorded to them the mercy that they were pleading for. But despite this, the servant whom the other owed did not bother to give the same kindness to his fellow servant who owed him a much smaller amount.
Sometimes we are like the other servant, we ask for mercy but does not extend the same compassion to our neighbors. It seems that it is easy for us to ask for forgiveness but we find it somehow difficult to forgive.
I am also struggling to forgive. There were moments when my emotions are too high and mercy and compassion are not always my immediate response. But for those moments when I struggled to extend compassion, I remember all my own imperfections and sinfulness. And each day as I pray the Lord’s Prayer, I am reminded to ask forgiveness for my sins and forgive those who sinned against me.
The Gospel challenges me to be more merciful and compassionate, just like our Heavenly Father unceasingly forgives us from all our iniquities and sinfulness. As a priest-in-process, I am challenged to live out the word of God and forgive those who have wronged me, not just seven times but seventy-seven times. This is what our Father in heaven wants from us – to forgive others from our hearts limitlessly.
By: Sem. Adriane Gabito
Matthew 18:21 – 19:1
Peter approached Jesus and asked him,
“Lord, if my brother sins against me,
how often must I forgive him?
As many as seven times?”
Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.
That is why the Kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king
who decided to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the accounting,
a debtor was brought before him who owed him a huge amount.
Since he had no way of paying it back,
his master ordered him to be sold,
along with his wife, his children, and all his property,
in payment of the debt.
At that, the servant fell down, did him homage, and said,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.’
Moved with compassion the master of that servant
let him go and forgave him the loan.
When that servant had left, he found one of his fellow servants
who owed him a much smaller amount.
He seized him and started to choke him, demanding,
‘Pay back what you owe.’
Falling to his knees, his fellow servant begged him,
‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
But he refused.
Instead, he had the fellow servant put in prison
until he paid back the debt.
Now when his fellow servants saw what had happened,
they were deeply disturbed,
and went to their master and reported the whole affair.
His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant!
I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to.
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant,
as I had pity on you?’
Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers
until he should pay back the whole debt.
So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart.”
When Jesus finished these words, he left Galilee
and went to the district of Judea across the Jordan.