(If you prefer the screencast, see below)
What does it feel like to actually feel the working of God’s mercy in your life? When I thought about that question and read through the Gospel for this Sunday, I found an example of what it’s not.
This is the parable of the master whose servant owes him a lot of money, so much so that he has considered selling the servant, his wife, his children and his property (in other words, all the servant is and has) would be sold to repay the master.
The servant begs his master for more time. The master, moved with compassion, does even more. He doesn’t just give the man time, but he forgives him of his debt.
You know the rest of the story, he sees a fellow servant who owes him money, demands payment and when he can’t pay, the forgiven servant sends his debtor to prison. When the master finds out, the man who was forgiven now must pay his own debt.
What happened? The servant did not feel the working of the mercy of his master. In the Magnificat missal for this weekend, one sentence sums it up so well: “The desire to forgive others - even if pain and wounds remains with us - is already the indication that Gods mercy is present in our hearts.”
God’s mercy is his propriation, his reconciliation.
Years ago, I worked for someone who was verbally, emotionally and mentally abusive. When that person retired, I happened to go to a women’s conference out of state, and took advantage of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The priest gave me the penance of praying the rosary for that person. I did tell him that was too hard, but he didn’t change his mind. I asked how many rosaries, and how long should this take? He said one set of mysteries (5 decades) and it can take as long as it takes.
Here’s what I learned: the more I prayed for him, the more freedom I received. It took me a week to pray 5 decades of the rosary and it was the most healing thing I have ever done.
Serving God is more than just going out and doing things like service projects. One important service to God is to forgive. When we forgive, the mercy we offer will bring forth the justice of God in a way that we could never accomplish by our own efforts.
Go ahead - look up the definition of justice. Then look up the definition of righteous. They are the same thing. When we forgive, God’s jsutice, his righteousness can do it’s work.
The act of forgiving also frees you from the burden of that sin, and enables God to forgive you of your sins.
Close in prayer with the Collect from the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, spending time meditating on times you were called to forgive, on a time it was hard to forgive. Think how much freer you will feel when you know longer carry the weight of unforgiveness - toward someone else and from God.