Mass Reading & Meditation for March 5, 2013
Meditation: Matthew 18:21-35
3rd Week of Lent
Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you? (Matthew 18:33)
Have you ever watched a squirrel trying to get into a “squirrel proof” bird feeder? He will tenaciously try anything to get at the birdseed, even if there are easy food options nearby. This illogical persistence is comical, but it’s also maddening for anyone who has to replace the broken bird feeder.
Sin can make humans do illogical things, too. And that is nowhere more clear than in the parable Jesus tells in today’s Gospel reading. Here we see the unmerciful servant behaving in a very selfish and irrational way. He begs for mercy and is forgiven his huge debt, only to go out of his way to demand that someone else pay him back a very small debt. He treats this borrower harshly and shows none of the mercy that he has just received. Wouldn’t it be easier just to forgive this fellow instead of spending all the effort having him thrown in jail and punished?
Have you found yourself acting illogically as well? Maybe there have been times when you should have extended mercy but ended up concocting a scheme to get even. Or perhaps you have planned or contemplated something you knew was wrong, despite the warning from your conscience. Did you ever really get any satisfaction from these plans? It’s amazing how irrational temptation and sin can make us!
God must be watching us with the same kind of mixture of humor and sadness that we feel as we watch that squirrel break through yet another bird feeder. He wants to help us overcome sin. Yet what we have done is so obviously intentional that the guilt sticks to our conscience more than that of any “accidental” sin.
In the end, it doesn’t matter. God’s mercy is always selfless. He always meets the illogic of our sins with the logic of his love. Scripture reminds us that his mercies are “renewed each morning” (Lamentations 3:23). God is constantly forgiving us and extending his mercy to us. So ask for his help, trust in his love, and know that your heart can be changed!
“Lord, give me the logic of your love and the clarity to see when I am being unjust or illogical. Fill my heart with mercy, and help me grow in your love each day.”
Daniel 3:25, 34-43; Psalm 25:4-9