This parable we hear today (see below) is Jesus’ response to Peter asking if he should be forgiving his brother up to 7 times. Jesus responded, “I do not say to you up to 7 times, but up to 70 times 7.”
Two years ago this month my son, John, and I almost drowned in the Pacific Ocean. It is a good story and one I will save for a different posting. But, let’s just say that I personally know the questions the servant who got his life back (see below) should be answering. Many of these questions came from an email I received from Fr. Tom Hopko when I was looking to understand what had happened to John and I in the ocean that day. But before I ask them I want to make it perfectly clear that these questions are for you as well. Life is short and it is later than you think. If you are still here that means that there is time enough, for us to do what needs doing!
If you are still alive you have been given a gift in the light of which the Lord is asking you to review your life, behavior, work, way of dealing with things, etc. for the sake of making some needed changes. Isn’t it the case that everything that happens to us is given as a gift for the sake of repentance and change and improvement?
So here are the basic questions:
- What am I doing with my life?
- How am I treating the people around me, beginning with my family?
- How am I doing my work?
- How am I fulfilling my ministry?
- How am I relating to God, and to death?
- Is there something specific that needs tending to?
- Something I should face, but am not facing?
- Something I should do, but am not doing?
- Something I should accept?
- Something I should admit and deal with?
- Something that I should let go of?
- Something I need to resolve?
“Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents; and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, till he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” Matthew 18:23-35
Daily Reading in the Orthodox Church1 Corinthians 9:2-12; Matthew 18:23-35