But when that servant went back to the ones who owed him, he was harsh and unforgiving, casting his debtors into prison. When word of this got back to the king, the servant was summoned by the king and scolded.
“His master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you your entire debt because you begged me to. Should you not have had pity on your fellow servant, as I had pity on you?’ Then in anger his master handed him over to the torturers until he should pay back the whole debt” (Matthew 18:32-34).
We who have been brought back from the brink of death because of our addictive substance, compulsive behavior, or unhealthy attachment need to show that same ability to forgive as our heavenly Father has shown us. We do well to recall the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us” (Matthew 6:12).
When we entered recovery and took those initial steps, our heavenly Father rejoiced, welcomed us home, and wiped away our debts as the king did in today’s Gospel reading. Therefore, unlike the unforgiving servant, we must continue in all our affairs by being merciful and forgiving—both to ourselves and our neighbors.
- Reflecting on your own recovery, how did you “prostrate yourself” before our heavenly Father when working on your first, second, and third steps?
- How have you worked your experience of God’s forgiveness into your dealings with others? What opportunities come to mind where you can do better?
Daily Mass Readings
First Reading: Daniel 3:25, 34-43
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 25L4-5ab, 6, 7bc, 8-9
Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35
Reflection by Kevin S.