Mercy Gives Us Life!

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

A few years before I entered the seminary, I was in my early forties and a friend said sit down for fifteen minutes and write what God had done for me during my lifetime.  I wrote and wrote and wrote, stopped for a break, and then wrote again.  I was blown away at the names of people I knew, countries I had visited, those who came back to the Church in some way through me, and many other things.  Up until that point I had this sense that God had dealt me a bad hand of cards.  Maybe you feel the same way at times so try this simple exercise and you will be amazed.

The first servant in today’s parable also forgot what the king had done for him.  He forgave him the equivalent of $60 million, which would be billions today.  Calculating the amount he owed by the normal day’s wage at that time meant the man would have to work over 2,000 years to repay this debt.  He could never do it.  He begged for forgiveness and the king forgave him.  But when his servant asked to be forgiven a $200 debt he ‘choked’ and could not pass along the mercy shown to him.  He could not pay it forward.  In the Christian life in order to keep something we need to give it away.  This man could not do it.  He choked his servant and practically inflicted death upon him for a lousy $200.

The first servant could not see himself in his ‘fellow servant.’ A ‘fellow servant’ is a Christian.  A friend of mine said that recently she met a young mom who had one child and could not bear to think of giving up her job and staying home with her child.  This friend said that God had enlightened her to see the suffering of this woman which helped her who has a much larger family.  She appreciated the spirit that God was giving her and the suffering of those who cannot.

Mercy in Hebrew can also mean womb.  When you have an experience of God’s mercy it’s a new life!  When I was twenty-two years old and confessed my sins for the first time in many years I felt deeply forgiven for the sins and stupidities of my youth.  It was a new life!!  Our only fear should be that we will not be merciful to those around us.  God want us to enter his kingdom, which is a kingdom of mercy.  Don’t be afraid to have this experience of God’s mercy in his sacraments!

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