Not so long ago, I was asked to administer the last rites to a dying politician. He was very popular around 25 to 30 years ago. According to my father, (obviously, this has to be according to my father) this politician was gravely misunderstood by the media.
He had beautiful platforms and the best motivations which were not properly projected because he did not have good PR. But he was a sincere man, a good politician. Unfortunately, he was misjudged. I will not tell you what he told me in confession. I will just tell you what he told me after I absolved him, which were not within the seal of confession. He told me, “Father, probably in a few hours, I will pass away.” In between gasps, he said: ” Maybe, not even the government will give me a necrological service because it doesn’t seem to appreciate even my good motivations. But my only consolation is that when I die, it will be God who will judge me, not my fellow men.” After a few hours, he passed away.
I tell you this because this is a story of a good man, a great man. And his story is also our story. Many of us, or all of us, are afraid to die because we are afraid to face God who is the final judge. And we know that God is all-knowing.
If we can hide our sins in confession, and shield our illicit acts from the Supreme Court, I am dead certain we can never hide anything from God. He knows us to the core of our beings
God is infinitely wise, and more than that, God is infinitely powerful. That is why we are afraid to face God who will judge us. What we sometimes forget, however, is that, in addition to being powerful and wise, God is also infinitely merciful. And this gives us no reason to be afraid. To come face to face with God can only mean pure joy.
In the Gospel, I would like to call your attention to the fact that the debtor was only asking for a postponement of the penalty. I will pay it back later, just don’t punish me now. Now if I don’t pay you back within a year, then punish me,” he said.
So he was only asking for a delay of the penalty. For a delay of the sentence. And then what did the master do? The master told him, “OK, it will not only be delayed, it will be completely canceled.” That is how infinite God’s mercy is. The punishment our sins deserve are not only deferred, they are completely written-off. The slate is completely erased. Why? Because God is merciful.
Unfortunately, we are very slow learners, meaning to say, we have already been forgiven a thousand times over, and yet we continue to be so mean. Yet, we can still be so demanding, so unkind, so lacking in compassion when it comes to the sins other people inflict on us.
God readily forgives us, yet we are so reluctant to forgive others in return, acting more godly than God. How unfortunate this is! It is a pity that our human hearts can be less forgiving than God.
Come to think of it my brothers and sisters, if you put together all the sins other people have inflicted on you, these would still not compare to the sins we have committed against God.
And if God can be so forgiving, how can we be so mean? How can we be so stubborn? How can we be so unkind? How can We keep so many grudges? How can we remain so angry after so many years?
We will ask the Lord during this Mass to make us forgiving We will thank God that He is our judge. If we were left to judge one another, we would get nowhere. But God is our judge, not our fellow men. Let us thank God for His mercy. Let us ask Him to make His mercy our Own.
FORGIVE US AS WE FORGIVE
Only Jesus, Always Jesus