Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This weekend, our readings demonstrate to us the importance of mercy. Mercy is so essential to understanding the nature of God; in the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, many also quote from the diary of St. Faustina that “[God’s] Holy Will [is] Love and Mercy itself.” Since we are called as disciples to imitate God as he’s fully revealed in Jesus Christ, it follows that we are also called to imitate God’s mercy, and this Sunday’s readings tell us plainly what happens depending on if we choose to receive and imitate that mercy or not. Consider the main servant in the parable: he was surely grateful when the king forgave him of his massive debt, but when the servant was owed a smaller amount from a debtor, he refused the mercy that was shown him from the king. When the king caught wind of this, he not only held the main servant responsible for his debts again, but the servant would be tortured until they were completely paid…a worse punishment than just having ones possessions seized! This tells us that God, our true King, also seeks to show mercy to us for ALL of our sins, no matter how numerous or severe. He offers us mercy unconditionally! However, when we deny mercy from others (by fostering grudges, seeking vengeance, refusing to forgive, etc.), we also reject that mercy for ourselves that He offers us, and God shows us that refusing mercy to another is one of the gravest sins. The “Our Father” also clearly outlines this condition as we ask God to “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,” and our First Reading from Sirach also gives several other formulations of that same idea. In short, God’s mercy can only remain within us if we show others mercy as well. This week, ask yourself: is there anyone in my life I need to forgive or reconcile with? Do I pray for my enemies?