There was a part of the Our Father prayer that I was told to reflect on a long time ago. It is the part when we say “forgive us our trespasses.” I was asked to think about these words, “forgive me my trespasses to the same extent that I forgive other’s trespasses.”
Today’s Gospel from Matthew 18:21-19:1 talks about a master forgiving entirely the gigantic debt of his servant. God’s mercy is awesome! Then that same forgiven servant finds a servant of his that owes him a small amount and demands him to pay it all back. When the servant cannot pay it back, instead of showing mercy, he beats the servant and puts him in prison until he pays the whole debt back.
The master in today’s Gospel was not happy when he heard about what happened and you can read about the punishment but the quote that I think we should take to heart is … “Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?” We know the answer is yes and we are called to be merciful as our God is merciful. We really have no excuses because if we truly look at ourselves honestly, we are not worthy of God’s mercy at all and deserve a terrible punishment for our sins. No matter how difficult it is, I must forgive and love my neighbor and even my enemies. Our own sins put us at enmity with God so if we desire mercy, we must show mercy.