Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!


Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost—14 October A.D. 2018
Ave Maria!

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in Latin and English
Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost
Dominica Vigesima Prima post Pentecosten

Support our Building Fund


Second collection -Thanksgiving meals for the poor.


    When we hear today's Gospel it is very natural to think it is about human patience and forgiveness.[1]  We are impressed with the magnanimity of the king and hope that many will share his good qualities even if they are not able to forgive such huge debts.  (The ten thousand talents would have a weight of gold or silver, worth something in the neighborhood of tens of millions of dollars—well beyond most people's ability to be generous or even patient.)  Contrary wise we are negatively impressed with the fellow servant who was so unforgiving over a few pence—maybe a hundred or so pieces of copper.  On the human level, this is a valuable lesson about how we should and shouldn't treat the people around us.

    But the parable did start out with the often heard phrase: “The kingdom of Heaven is like such and such....” That suggests that there is also a more God centered meaning to the story.  The enormous debt owed to the king should remind us that all of our sins against God are of an enormous distain for One who deserves all of our respect and obedience.  It should also remind us of God's magnanimity—just like the king in the parable.  In spite of the evil worked by so many of us, God sent His only Son to suffer on the Cross for our redemption from the spiritual (and sometimes physical) death of sin.  Human sin is an outrageous offense against God, and we must multiply that by the millions of people who inhabit the planet.

    All men and women are redeemed by our Lord's sacrifice on the Cross.  That is to say that they have been made capable of accepting God's Grace's and living lives which honor rather than dishonor Him.  It remains necessary for us to live this life of cooperation with God.  It is a serious mistake to think that there is no need for individuals to give up their sins.  It is utterly false to think that all men and women are saved from eternal punishment solely by the sacrifice of the Cross.  Individual forgiveness can be gained only through contrition and a firm intention to stop sinning.

    A few weeks back we heard that there are two great commandments: the love of God with our whole heart, mind, and soul; and the love of our neighbor as ourselves.  We can see this second commandment in the part of the parable where the servant has the opportunity, but refuses to forgive even a small debt.  Indeed the fellow servant was not even asking for forgiveness, but merely for some time to work things out.

    This parable is a warning.  Certainly, we must stop committing those sins against God, for they are mortal because of His great majesty.  But we must also stop committing sins against our neighbors.  Sins against our neighbors are essentially sins against God Himself, for in them we are violating God's second great commandment, and we are failing to show love, compassion, patience, and forgiveness toward those whom God Himself shows love, compassion, patience, and forgiveness.

    We may have a legal claim to collect a debt—people expect to be paid for their goods and services, and expect loans to be repaid—and, usually the parties have agreed on a time when repayment can be expected.  Very often these things are enforceable under civil law.  We say that we have a right to collect “in justice,” and we do.  But often enough we must recognize that there are rights that exist “in charity,” rather than strictly “in justice.”  We are told that we must “love our neighbor as ourselves”—we are told to “do unto others as we would have them do unto us.”[2]  This is particularly true when we have some sort of relationship with the other person—a family member, a co-worker, a fellow parishioner, or a neighbor whose tools we borrow and with whom we socialize....

    As Catholics we must see even those with whom we have no relationship as though they were Jesus Christ Himself--the hungry, the thirsty, the naked, the sick, the prisoner, the stranger--Our Lord tells us that when we do something good for any of these, we are doing good for Him, and that our reward will be eternal.  If we fail to do this good for Him our punishment will be similarly eternal: “Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels.”[3]

    Of course, no one is expected to “give away the store.” Indeed if we gave away all of our goods and services and loaned money without repayment, we would soon become hungry, thirsty, naked, and homeless ourselves.  But when we find ourselves with more than we need for our own use, we need to think about helping those in need.

    We are hoping to feed a few hungry people at Thanksgiving, and hopefully to go on doing so throughout the year.  Undoubtedly there are other ways we can help our neighbors—and we will be exploring them as we grow in size.  For the moment I think we will do just fine as long as we keep our Lord's words firmly in mind:

“Amen I say to you, as long as you did it for one of these,
the least of My brethren, you did it for Me.”




Dei via est íntegra

Our Lady of the Rosary, 144 North Federal Highway (US#1), Deerfield Beach, Florida 33441  954+428-2428
Authentic  Catholic Mass, Doctrine, and Moral Teaching -- Don't do without them -- 
Don't accept one without the others!