OMELIE / Omelie EN

13 set 2020
13/09/2020 – 24th Sunday in O. T. - year A

13/09/2020 – 24th Sunday in O. T. - year A 

Reading 1  SIR 27,30 - 28,9  Psalm  102/103  Reading 2  ROM 14,7-9  Gospel  MT 18,21-35


Last Sunday the Lord Jesus has taught us both the discretion and the determination we need in order to correct our brethren. Today He intends to correct each one of us, who are almost uncorrectable: how much resistance we offer to the Word we receive, and in particular to the one that is given us today! We are surprised that Peter has asked Jesus if it is allowed to think of being able to forgive seven times in a row. To be fair, we think it is an overstatement to propose to do that even thrice. Also, if we are talking about a truly sincere, deep and full type of forgiveness, then we do not even dare to grant it twice. Is the answer Jesus has given Peter really exaggerated? Seventy times seven, is that possible? After all, you understand that, if you forgive seven times, when you get to the eighth what do you do? Do you get revenge? Are you stopping showing the Father’s mercy? The eighth time that a brother bothers you, would you stop being God's gift for him? The eighth time would you have the courage, going from the good person you are, to become bad? Jesus is helping us to understand the beauty of forgiveness, and therefore its value and the necessity for it; He is helping us through a parable which has in itself a very particular power of persuasion.

The debtor relieved for free of his debt of ten thousand is not able to show mercy towards whom owes him only one hundred denarii. He has been fully relieved of his debt simply because he has begged, because he has asked not even for the remission, but just for a little patience. And he cannot do the same for a friend that owes him much less than what he himself owes.

Nobody of the people who listen to this tale can approve the servant who does not learn from his master. However, in practice, we are the ones who behave in that way. God does not ask us to repay Him for the gift of life, not even for the gift of the faith in Him, but He is not even asking us to repair for our small or great sins. We forget fast these benefits. We are ready to remember the injuries, meant or not, realised or not, by whom is passing us by, or even by whom live, and cares and works for us all day long. We are worse, way worse, than that “wicked servant” the parable is talking about.

Since we are listening to Jesus and we let ourselves be benefited by Him, we should be different, we should accept to act as He does with us. Also the sentences from the book of Sirach are quite strong (first reading): “The vengeful will suffer the Lord’s vengeance, for he remembers their sins in detail. Forgive your neighbor’s injustice; then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven. Could anyone nourish anger against another and expect healing from the Lord?” and also: “Remember your last days, set enmity aside”.

We need to exercise our memory not only in regard of the injuries we receive, but also in regard of those we procure to others, but above all in regard of the benefits that we receive from all sources, from people we know and from strangers. Saint Paul is offering us another piece of reasoning, which, if received, is making even easier to forgive. “None of us lives for oneself”: it is true, I have started living for the Lord Jesus, and I have decided many times to offer Him my life. I am sure you have done the same, many times. Just think how many times you have said: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done”. With these words you have promised obedience to the Lord, the decision to listen to the Father’s voice through His Son’s words. A concrete way to keep the promise and to demonstrate we live for Him is truly forgiveness. Whoever hurts me or hates me, or slanders me, needs to be saved and freed from whom makes him behave that way, so the devil. Whoever slanders me or ruins my name with bad intentions, is distancing himself from God’s goodness and is rejecting His Spirit: he needs to be helped and saved. I, who is aware of the danger in which he is, can help him through my word, my mercy, my smile, my prayer. I am living for the Lord, and therefore I have and I want to help the brother too to stay faithful to Him, and I need to ‘help’ the Lord to reach him and make him feel His love.

For if we live, we live for the Lord!”, and joy will never leave our heart. And we will always thank Jesus for surprising us with His answer to Peter, the only one which does not lie, the only worth of the Father’s heart.