Christian Privilege: Forgiven to forgive

24th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Fr. John Monbourquette, in his bestselling book How To Forgive, writes: “If you want to be happy for a moment, then seek revenge. If you want to be happy for a life time, then grant forgiveness.” He follows it up by presenting the four possibilities and consequences if we do not forgive. First, we perpetuate the grief suffered within ourselves. Second, we live with constant resentment. Third, we remain fixated on the past. Fourth, we seek revenge.

In the Gospel, Jesus confronts Peter with the truth that the spirit of forgiveness knows no limit. Jesus then proceeds to tell the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant wherein a king shows mercy to his servant by canceling entirely his huge debt even if the original request was only an extension of patience and time to pay the debt.

But because he refuses to forgive a fellow servant who owes him a smaller amount, the king imposes the former sentence (“to be sold, along with his wife and children, and all his property”) and even adds to it (“handed him over to the torturers”). Failure to forgive a brother will bring severe punishment.

The parable teaches us that the Kingdom of Heaven is to consist of people who are both forgiven and forgiving, who have both received mercy and are merciful.

God bless! Fr. Cesar


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