24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A - 13/9/2020 - Gospel: Mt 18: 21-35
King of Mercy
This parable uses the image of an earthly king, who cancelled the huge debt owed by his servant, to talk about the unlimited generosity of the heavenly king. The debt was much larger than the king's servant could ever repay, not even the interest only, to say nothing about the capital loan. When the deadline came, the servant begged the king to give him more time. Knowing that he could never pay it, the king showed pity on him by cancelling the whole sum. This act of mercy was beyond the servant's expectation. On the way home, he happened to meet one of his fellows, who had borrowed from him a much smaller sum, and was unable to repay the debt on his deadline. The fellow begged to have more time. Instead of showing mercy, the servant put him in jail, till he paid the last penny. The king heard of the story. He got angry and said to his servant, 'I cancelled all that debt of yours when you appealed to me. Were you not bound, then, to have pity on your fellow servant just as I had pity on you?'. v.33. The king then reversed his previous decision and put him in jail.

Our Lord, Jesus Christ, the heavenly king, is King of Mercy, because His way is mercy. He is the image of God's mercy. Jesus taught His apostles, that there was no need to count the number of times mercy was shown. Jesus told Peter, forgiveness wasn't based on the number of times of forgiving, but it was to happen each time the offender repented, and asked for forgiveness. Each time s/he comes to say 'I am sorry', then forgiveness is to be granted. Jesus told His apostles, that His mercy had no end. It would never stop; there was no limit. Peter thought that forgiving seven times was generous. Jesus told him, not seven, He said, but multiplication of seventy times seven was needed. The result of this multiplication would take the entire human race to practice forgiveness the full. We don't need to keep track of forgiveness. The king reversed his pardon by putting his servant in jail, because the servant had received the king's pity, but showed no pity on his fellow man. God's mercy works in a reciprocal way. We receive, and in turn, must give. Personal practicing of forgiveness is not an option; it must be a way of life. God's way of life is mercy, and we, His disciples, must do the same. Our way of life must be the way of mercy, showing mercy to a person every time s/he comes and asks for pardon. Forgiveness is God's free gift. It is a reflection of God's love active in our lives. To cancel our debt, our sins, Jesus took it on himself. To give us life, Jesus died for us. When we are unable to forgive, it means, we fail to see others as members of God's family. We fail to see, that person as our brother or sister in Christ. We receive God's forgiveness daily; we need to forgive others always, because it shows that we are God's children. We must practice forgiveness as freely as we have been forgiven. We don't deserve God's forgiveness. We don't understand God's forgiveness, but we experience that God's love is more powerful than our sin. We also experience, that God's mercy  has the power to heal the broken hearted, to make whole a shattered life, and to restore a broken relationship. We thank God for the gift of mercy and show our appreciation of this grace by 'passing it on'.