Sunday, August 20, 2017

Met Georges Khodr on the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

Arabic original here.

Forgive Your Companion as I have Forgiven You

This Sunday is the midpoint between the Feast of the Transfiguration and the Feast of the Elevation of the Cross. In the transfiguration, we were promised that we will shine with the light of the Gospel just as Christ shined on the mountain. In the cross, Christ will be victorious and forgive us. But in order for us to be transfigured and forgiven, we must love as the parable from the Gospel has taught us.

The Lord told us this parable about a king who was owed ten thousand talents by his servant. This is equal to hundreds of millions in modern currency. That is, it is a very large debt. It is as though the Gospel means that the king is God Himself and that we owe Him an immeasurable sum. We owe Him first of all life and we owe Him something even more important than life, the redemption worked by Christ on the cross, eternal life, and forgiveness of sins when we repent of them.

God, as the servant said, takes His time. That is, He does not punish a person if the person asks for respite, if he realizes his sin and wants to correct it. The Lord desires all His children, even if they are sinners, because He loves all His children. "For He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5:45). People of various sorts, of various believes and various behavior enjoy the same good things that God gives to His beloved ones in various ways. God is a master who treats us according to love.

The servant whose great debt was forgiven held a trivial debt, a hundred dinars, from another servant. Three thousand dinars equals one talent. He started beating him, almost killing him, and put him in jail.

The lesson that Jesus draws from this story is that if you want mercy from your Lord, you must in turn be merciful to people. If you love, your heart grows larger, so that you will be large-hearted with people and have mercy on them.

Why must our hearts grow larger and why must we show mercy? Because people are alone. Every person is alone. Every person is wretched. Not matter how happy we are, in the end we live in isolation and nothing but God can bring us out of our isolation. Everything we have comes to an end: family, livelihood, wealth. God alone is a friend. Every person wants to be visited by another, for the face of another to turn to him, for a neighbor to look out for him, but the one who truly looks out for us is God.

How do we see the Lord? We do not see God's face, but we hear His word and we feel His grace. God looks out for us through others and He is one of the people that we visit. If they visit us, we feel that God has visited us. If they love us, we know that God has loved us. Others want us to love them in hard times, and therefore we console each other and rejoice with one another. Sometimes this might be out of hypocrisy and flattery our out of habit, but a person wants true, sincere feeling.

A person is in hard times not only when he has lost a loved one. He may be having psychological difficulty, so if we see the signs of ennui and irritability on our relative or neighbor, then we should visit him. This is particularly necessary in family life. We must be merciful toward people so that the Lord will have mercy on us.

No comments: