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Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Cycle A

16 September 2017

Reflecting on Matthew 18: 21-35

Parents have the inside track on this story of the debtor who won’t forgive his own debtor. How many millions of times have moms and dads forgiven their child by the time she graduates from high school, because love compels them to understand her and give her another chance? But let them miss a soccer game and she can’t seem to forgive them for decades. That’s the crazy math of parents and kids, which, of course, comes full circle when the kids have kids themselves. And it’s about the same crazy math as the one in this gospel.

The king’s debtor owes him ten thousand talents, which is the equivalent of 6 billion dollars today. And the debtor’s debtor owes him one millionth of that―whatever that is. You’ll have to do the math, I can’t, but whatever that is, he won’t forgive it and he sends his debtor to prison. Grr.

A friend shared this story with me decades ago, and I’ve never forgotten it. Her son and daughter, always best friends, had for some reason fallen out and hadn’t spoken in a month. Whatever it was her son did, her daughter announced that she would never forgive him because he lied to her. My friend’s answer was priceless:

Seriously? I’ve been lied to by every member of this family at some point over the years, and I’m still here, making dinner and driving car pool. I’ve forgiven you and your brother at least a thousand times. Am I the only one around here who knows how to forgive?

What a metaphor for the love of God, whose mercy is new every morning. Forgive someone today. Make your mom proud.

In what ways are you aware of having been forgiven by others?

Kathy McGovern ©2017

Ordinary Time - Cycle A

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