By: Bobot Apit Mar 29, 2011 - Tuesday Meditation (Be Merciful Too!) The more you understand God’s radical gift of mercy, the easier it will be for you to forgive the people around you. Don’t make the same mistake that the unmerciful servant made! Look to your merciful Father, and you will become merciful yourself. Tuesday in the Third Week of Lent Daniel 3:25, 34-43 Psalm 25:4bc-5ab, 6+7bc, 8-9 Matthew 18:21-35 Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" 22 Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. 23 "Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents; 25 and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, `Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' 27 And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, `Pay what you owe.' 29 So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, `Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' 30 He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. 32 Then his lord summoned him and said to him, `You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; 33 and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?' 34 And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, till he should pay all his debt. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart." Meditation “Be patient with me, and I will pay you back in full.” (Matthew 18:26) A man struggling during hard economic times receives two envelopes in the mail. One envelope contains an offer to consolidate his debt into lower monthly payments. The other envelope contains notification that he has won ten million dollars in a lottery. He sighs, throws the lottery notification in the trash, and begins getting his paperwork ready for his loan modification. Doesn’t this sound absurd? But this is essentially what the unmerciful servant does in today’s Gospel. When his master confronts him about the massive amount of money he owes, all he asks is for more time to pay back the debt. It doesn’t even dawn on him to ask for anything else. His imagination is too limited: Debts simply had to be paid. So it’s no wonder that he would apply this strict standard to a fellow servant who owed him a small amount of money. Rules are rules, and they must be followed! Here’s some good news: We’ve won the lottery! In Christ, all of our sins are wiped away—completely. When we come to him in repentance, he doesn’t just give us more time to make up for our sins. He doesn’t give us a list of suggestions and one more chance to redeem ourselves. No, he casts our sins away from us, as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12). He washes away our failures and puts us on the path of freedom and victory. And he promises to walk with us, helping us along the way. Take some time today to ponder your heavenly Father’s generosity. Let the Holy Spirit expand your imagination so that you can envision the possibility of complete forgiveness, the hope of every spiritual debt being canceled with no questions asked. Let this promise soak into your heart and transform the way you think. The more you understand God’s radical gift of mercy, the easier it will be for you to forgive the people around you. Don’t make the same mistake that the unmerciful servant made! Look to your merciful Father, and you will become merciful yourself. “Father, shower me with your mercy today! Let me absorb deeply the reality of forgiveness you have given me, and help me to do the same for others.”
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