Today’s Gospel refers to the account which all men will one day be called upon to give. It is a serious thought, which makes us reflect, as we did last Sunday on the state of our conscience. Yet, as we continue the reading of this parable, our hearts are comforted. God, represented by the king, manifests such kindness, mercy, and compassion to the poor servant who cannot pay his debt; He forgives him everything and sets him free.
The debt of that servant was not a trifling one: ten thousand talents; our debts to God are much greater and cannot be computed in talents, nor in silver and gold; they must be reckoned according
to the price of our redemption, the most precious Blood of Jesus.
Our debts are our sins which need ed to be washed away in the Blood of a divine Victim. In spite of our good will, we increase these debts each day, to a greater or lesser extent, if only by faults of frailty and weakness. Is there one who can say at the day’s end that he has not contracted new debts with God? If, at the end of life, God should place before us an exact account of our deficit, we should find ourselves in a much more embarrassing position than that of the servant in the parable.
But God, being infinite goodness, knows and has pity on our misery; each time we place ourselves before Him and humbly acknowledge our faults with sincere repentance, He immediately pardons us and cancels all our debts.
God is magnificent when He pardons: He does not reproach us for the faults over which we have already wept, nor does He keep any account of them; His pardon is so generous, so great and complete, that it not only annuls our debts but destroys even the memory of them, as if they had never existed.
It is enough for Him to see us repentant; then every wound, even the most grievous and repugnant, is completely healed by the precious Blood of Jesus. Christ’s Blood is like an immense sea which has the power to cleanse and destroy the sins of all mankind, provided they are sincerely repented of. Every minute of every day we can take the burden, heavy or light as it may be, of our sins and infidelities and make it disappear in this ocean of grace and love, certain that not one trace of it will remain.
The second part of the parable speaks of our forgiveness of others. Returning home, the fortunate servant whose debts had all been cancelled, met one of his fellow servants, who owed him a hundred pence, a very small sum compared with the ten thousand talents which had been cancelled for him. Yet he who had been treated with so much mercy, showed none to his fellow servant; he would neither listen to his pleadings, nor heed his tears, but “went and cast him into prison, till he paid the debt.”
The parable describes the punishment inflicted on the cruel servant by his master: “And his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt;” and the conclusion follows: “So also shall My heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not your brothers from your hearts.”
If we wish God to be generous in pardoning us, we must be generous in forgiving others; we shall be forgiven according to the measure in which we forgive, which means that we ourselves gi ve to God the exact measure of the mercy He is to show to us.
'Divine Intimacy' by Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, OCD