In the first reading, God speaks to Ezekiel and tells him he lives in a house of rebellion. It is inhabited by those who have eyes to see but do not see, and ears to hear but do not hear. Israel will wind up as captives, driven into exile. We are not lucky enough to have a beautiful, flowery psalm today, but one of warning. Look out, our gentle God has a temper, and he isn’t afraid to show it! Faithlessness can bring out His wrath. We are cautioned that God will become angry, jealous and enraged. The Lord will reject Israel. In today’s gospel Jesus tells the parable of the unmerciful servant. The servant begs forgiveness and his master forgives his debt. Then the servant finds a fellow servant who owes him a small debt and he refuses to forgive that debt. The master finds out and in anger hands the unmerciful servant over to the torturers until he pays his debt. Jesus warns that this is how God will treat us if we do not show mercy and forgiveness to each other.
Wow, pretty ironic that I get these readings to really spend time reflecting upon. Forgiving is just so difficult for me, and I’m just not sure why. I have pondered this for many of my adult years. I have prayed for the ability to forgive. It’s always on my to do list for Lent, and Advent. I try so hard to improve my ability to forgive.
Today is the Feast of St. Maximilian Kolbe. I really didn’t know much about St. Max, so I took some time to read up on him. I really enjoy reading about the saints .I just hadn’t come across much about him. St. Maximilian had a great devotion to our blessed mother. He was arrested by Nazi forces in 1939, and again in 1941. During his last imprisonment, he offered to take the place of a husband and father who was one of ten prisoners picked to be starved, beaten, and finally put to death because another prisoner had escaped. St. Maximilian prayed through his suffering, and ultimate death. I have a feeling he did plenty of praying for his persecutors. Now, if he can do that. If Jesus Christ could forgive those who crucified him, who am I to remain ticked off because my husband didn’t clean up the kitchen, or make the bed since he was the last one out of it? Who am I to hold a grudge because of a perceived wrong committed against me? Believe me; I’m not proud to say I’m really good at holding grudges.
I am hopeful that I can take with me the lessons of today’s readings. Remain faithful, and pleasing to God, and for Heaven’s sake, forgive as the master of the unmerciful servant did. Take a few moments to reflect on the following:
The militant desires for everyone the light of faith, happiness, forgiveness of sins, and a heart afire with God's love. His dream is the happiness of all humanity in God.--St. Maximilian Kolbe