Forgiveness & The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

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Reflection on the Gospel of the Tuesday

In The Third Week In Lent

Matthew 18:21-35

The two great themes of the Bible are the Love of God and Love of Brother/Neighbour. We see these at the start of Genesis in the story of Creation and story of Cain and Abel. We see them in the Law given at Sinai, where the Ten Commandments can be classified under Love of God and Neighbour. Finally, Jesus in responding to the Rich Young Man, tells him that the Law is summed up in the Love of God and Neighbour. There are no limits and no conditions to loving.

In reading the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant, we see the theme of Love operating. The Great King out of love and mercy forgives the First Servant, but the Servant is unable to mirror the Love and Mercy of the Great King, because he never understood the King, nor made any efforts to understand Him. The King to him was only a source of wealth and profit, therefore he was unable to extend the Love and forgiveness he received to the Second Servant.

If we look inwards to ourselves, we will find that we tend to be the First Servant, selfish and looking to only satisfy ourselves, in every possible way, at the expense of others. We fail to realise that it is important to be mindful of our brothers/sisters, because if we cannot love them, we will be unable to advance in the perfection of love. Because forgiveness is about unchaining ourselves from the bounds of hate and pride which blind us. And blindness only leads us to do mistakes and fall in the potholes of life, binding us further.

It is only in loving that we begin to unravel the bonds that we are in. Pray then to the Holy Spirit, that you receive God’s grace to love everyone, even those who make life difficult for you, that you experience true freedom and peace.

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