24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
"Be patient with me, and I will pay you back." (Mt. 18:21-35)
Church, what happened to the servant who said to the king, "Be patient with me, and I will pay you back"? This brother's debt was enormous. The king intended to throw him and his family in prison. However, the king favored him after hearing his servant pleading. Interestingly, the parable does not indicate the servant's reaction to the compassion of the king. We do not hear him say thank you or display any gratitude for the mercy shown to him and his family. Now I don't know about you, but I am just saying if Macy's favored me by zeroing out my account, I would give God some praise. I would sing, "I am grateful for the things he has done." I am telling you, flowing from my heart would be nothing but thankfulness because God has favored me. This servant forgot Paul's encouragement, "In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thess. 5:18).
There is another aspect of this servant's behavior that boggles my mind. The guy knew that he would never repay the king his debt because it was huge. And yet, when he saw his fellow servant who asked for a favor, he refused to be patient with his debt. I don't know how we can ask patience from others and yet not offer patience to other individuals. With his ungratefulness, this servant lost his mind and started choking and beating his fellow servant. Unfortunately, this servant missed the second petition in the Lord's Prayer, "forgive us our trespasses as we have forgiven those who trespass against us."
Perhaps we need to focus more on being thankful in all circumstances and the 2nd petition for forgiveness in the Lord's Prayer. We are moving so fast, we take God's blessings for granted. We pray so fast that we forget that we are for forgiveness universally. It's not an "I" thing; it's a "we" thing. God shows us his favor by pouring mercy on us all. The problem is that we don't realize that "at any moment," God shows us his favor. God is showing mercy and grace. At a moment we least expect it, God instills hope for a brighter day. God's abundant love pours out on us all. Be patient with God and yourself, God is showing you favor.
Can you imagine what would have happened in this parable if the servant, with the enormous debt, would have rejoiced over the favor he received from the king? I don't know what you are going through but ask for God's favor today. Listen to the video!
Authored: Michael P. Howard, M.A.