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Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

Reflection Date: August 12 , 2021
Daily Reading:  Joshua 3:7-11, 13-17 & Matthew 18:21-35 

The message of the parable is quite clear.  Our forgiveness from God depends on our forgiveness of our neighbour.  This is also an intention we find in the Lord’s Prayer which we recite every day, “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.”  We can clearly see a condition that is laid down by Jesus that the experience of forgiveness is best enjoyed when forgiveness is shown to those who hurt us, betray us and let us down.  Forgiveness is like a balm that repairs relationships in the family, in the community and in society and brings about peace. 

Often when we are offended, we find it difficult to forgive.  And then we rationalize our refusal to forgive by saying: “He/she does not deserve to be forgiven.” “He/she was rude/hostile/childish/destructive towards me.”  But to err is human but to forgive is divine. Unforgiveness slowly but at times in a speedy manner creates poison within us which can become detrimental to our health and also affect our relationships.

No one who has offended another deserves forgiveness from the offended person. Forgiveness is not a right, it is a gift from the offended to the offender.  We forgive not because the offender deserves our forgiveness but because we have been forgiven incomparably more by God whom we have all offended. A person who realizes that he/she has been forgiven by God his sins will find it “natural” that he/she should forgive others.

In the words of St. Paul: “… be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ (Ephesians 4: 32).”

Let us give priority to forgiveness whenever we are faced with negative situations in life. Let us seek power from Jesus on the cross, who forgave His persecutors.

Fr. Joseph Cardozo, SJ | Contributor 



Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.