You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?” (Matthew 18:32-33)
From the time of Cain and Abel to this day, people have always been wicked to each other. If given the chance, we would destroy all life on earth in a bid to fight one another. A servant who owed his master a lot of money was forgiven of his debt but he could not forgive his fellow servant who owed him much less.
If God could be so gracious to forgive me whenever I cry for mercy, how come I cannot extend a hand of mercy to my fellow brothers and sisters? Why do we treat badly those at our mercy (those under our power), and still expect God to be merciful to us when we pray?
Our first reading today contains the prayer of Azariah in the heart of the fire. It is a cry for mercy on behalf of an entire nation. Azariah acknowledges that the people have sinned and disappointed God, but that God should not abandon them nor withdraw His favour from them.
Like the servant whose debts were forgiven, we pray for God’s mercy everyday yet we continue to nurse the hurts of others in our hearts seeking, waiting, and hoping for opportunities to strike them down. The next time you feel like dealing with someone, think about how much God has forgiven you in the past. Think of what God could have possibly done to you if He was not so merciful.
Rather than act out your pain on someone else, why not offer it up to God in union with the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross. Ask God to accept the pain you feel in exchange for blessings, healing, deliverance, breakthrough, etc. for someone in need. Then just drop it. Take it as if no one offended you.
As Jesus taught us, “the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still, more will be given you.” (Mark 4:24). Again, Jesus says: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” (Luke 6:31). Let the cycle of hate and wickedness end with you. Be kind to others, especially those that don’t deserve it, and then, urge them to pay it forward. This way, you begin a new cycle of love.
Let us pray: Heavenly Father, I offer you my pains, hurts, heartbreaks, disappointments, and setbacks. Help me to let go as you let of my own faults. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bible Study: Daniel 3:25,34-43, Ps. 25:4-6,7a-9, Matthew 18:21-35).*
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu