Thursday 13 August 2020

Ninteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Word for today
The Gospel of Matthew 18:21 - 19:1

Disdain

There is an iniquity worse than any other, there is a hardness of the soul worse than any other, there is a sin worse than any other, there is a violence worse than any other. Nothing kindles divine disdain as much as this terrible, aberrant and absolutely stupid mental and spiritual attitude. It is the most perfect way to curse at God and His Holy Name, to deride His majesty, soiling with dung His glory, spitting poison in the face of His omnipotence. It is erasing, with our own hands, our name from the book of life forever. It is going against everything and everybody, it is instigating the powers of the visible and invisible universe against us. When Satan manages to instigate a mind and a heart to behave this way, he acchieves his most supreme and complete victory, this is the way he manages to turn a child of God into his own child, filling him with his own essence.
Jesus explains this mental and spiritual attitude saying literally: should you not have had mercy for your fellow servant, as I had mercy for you? Here is the evil, the evil of the world, the evil which kills the heart, slaughters human relationships and kindles the disdain of God, the angels and all of creation. Asking God compassion and mercy, begging to be treated with mercy - as the Gospel says - and receiving promptly out of God's love and compassion complete forgiveness for our enormous mistakes and sins, and, right after, witholding compassion, withdrawing forgiveness and mercy to our fellows travellers for their faults, mistakes, sins towards us, this, this is the true supreme evil that kindles God's disdain, this is evil beyond any other. This is the evil so that Jesus was compelled to reveal the hardest, saddest, most dangerous and terrible truth beyond all others: Evil servant, I forgave you all that debt because you praised me. Shouldn't you have had mercy of your fellow? Disdained, the lord handed him over to the jailers, until he gave all that was due. So my heavenly Father will do with you if you do not forgive, each one to his own brother, from the bottom of your heart.
Whoever commits this evil will have to gather all his strength and be ready to pay all he must, everything, to the last penny, first of all to the universe, than to life and finally to God, for what he neglected and took away from love, grace, beauty, light, truth. And people do not know, they really do not know what this means and implies, otherwise they would wear out their knees asking God to be treated with mercy, and would never cease to treat their fellow travellers mercifully.
One thing is absolutely certain and it is perfectly highlighted in the Gospel story: our debts with God and with His love are immeasurably and infinitely superior to whatever debts our brothers can have with us. There is no measurable or nameable proportion. Asking God forgiveness and getting it, being freed from debts for all the evil we have done and, nevertheless, condemning our brothers, criticizing, slandering, judging our companions on earth for their wrongdoings and the wounds inflicted on us makes us stupid: it is denying God, his fatherhood and his everlasting love; it means begging Satan to regenerate us as his children. Perhaps that is why God chose the greatest figures in the bible, the prophets and the people's leaders from among the greatest sinners who were even murderers. Moses and Paul of Tarsus are an example: our heavenly Father knew that after having forgiven them so much, they would become his servants leading His people, becoming very wise, humble, compassionate and endlessly patient with His people, beyond any human limit, if not always for love, at least out of intellectual honesty. For those men, who in their own time had been so greatly loved and forgiven, no sin, betrayal, or annoyance would make them lose their temper or dedication, and, most of all, they would do all in their power to never have to hear the disdainful words of the Father: Evil servant, I forgave you all that debt because you praised me. Shouldn't you have had mercy of your fellow? Disdained, the lord handed him over to the jailers, until he gave all that was due. So my heavenly Father will do with you if you do not forgive, each one to his own brother, from the bottom of your heart.