What image, picture, or voice showed up in you when reading the parable of the Unforgiving Servant (Mt 18:21-35)? In this message, Jesus gave a parable to respond to Peter’s question; “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive?” The parable is about the loan forgiveness between the king and his servant and between the servant and his fellow servant. Yet, besides this forgiveness topic, there must be something more.
In the parable, the servant did what the law allowed him to do toward his fellow servant: “If someone owes you something and does not pay, then you can sue that person and put that person in jail.” Under human law, I don’t find any wrong from this servant, who did not commit any sin. However, under the compassionate aspect, I asked, “How could this fellow servant pay off his debt if he was in jail? His family might have to borrow money from another place with a higher interest to bail him out or sell his family members, which would cause more poverty and division.” How can this person and his family have an opportunity to live better if these things happened? I felt heartbroken for this servant.
God has created many opportunities for us to live better lives, like the king forgave the debt to his servant and freed this family for a better life. In return, we are obligated to help others have such opportunities. Look around to see the needs: the cry of the earth, the pollution, the immigrant’s flux, the gun violence, the pro-life issues, human trafficking, the freedom to pursue dreams and visions, the depression along with suicide, death penalty, the water and food qualities, and more. Who will put hands together to create opportunities for a better life on this earth? Is that “they” only, or is that “they, you, and me?”
Being a Christian is not only following the church’s rule, attending Mass and praying. Our living faith requires actions. We need to listen to the world’s needs and God’s voice and, at the same time, work for peace and justice in the world. “Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.” (James 1:22). In the parable, the king was angry at the servant because this servant could not show compassion. I questioned myself: who am I in this situation, and who am I in the role of a Christian living my faith daily? The song: “Here I Am came to me, and I was touched when listening to this song.
There are needs in the world and right where we live. Crying voices are everywhere. And God is calling each of us to respond to this mission. How can we equip ourselves with the ability to hear and act in love and compassion so we can come together, creating opportunities for all to live a better life?
Yes, the goal of a religious vocation is to build relationships with God and through God, to learn and act in love as God loves, and to become compassionate as God is. Yes, love with compassion urges us to make commitments to go beyond ourselves for others. Are you willing to allow this call to grow and develop in you so you can be God’s ears, eyes, hands, mouth, and feet for others? Are you willing to say to God, “Here I am,” to enter a discernment process, even though you are unsure which path God is leading you? Contact us, and we will journey with you in this discernment process.