March 26, 2019
by Chas Kestermeier, S.J.
Creighton University's English Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent
Lectionary: 238

Deuteronomy 3:25, 34-43
Psalms 25:4-5AB, 6 and 7BC, 8-9
Matthew 18-21-35

Praying Lent Home

Lent as Hearing the Cry of the Poor

Helping Little Children with Lent

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer


We are familiar with this parable, which is clear and quite forceful, but how do we keep it fresh?  How can we really listen to it every time we hear it? 

The man at the center is a “servant,” and yet this king had advanced him a huge amount of money, something approaching the amount budgeted for a small nation.  At the servant's pleading the king does not extend the time before the repayment is due but cancels the debt entirely, and he does this for a man who is clearly not a good manager of his life and his goods.  We must be astonished, at least a little bit, at a king who is himself so incompetent? preoccupied? as to let this man run up such a debt – or maybe he is very close to the attitude of the Prodigal Son's father? 

Yet when the servant does not learn from the king's liberality but does violence to another servant who is in a situation similar to what he himself had been in, the king does not treat him as the Prodigal Son's father would.  This man has not learned, has not imitated either the king or the Prodigal Son, and so one would think that he richly merits to receive what the king had tried to help him to avoid. 

The application of this parable to us is clear, then, but have we ourselves really learned to be generous in our goods and even more in our forgiving and in building others up? 

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