HOME CHAT NAB PRAYERS FORUMS COMMUNITY RCIA MAGAZINE CATECHISM LINKS CONTACT
 CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC SAINTS INDEX  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC DICTIONARY  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Home
 
Bible
 
Catechism
 
Chat
 
Catholic Encyclopedia
 
Church Fathers
 
Classics Library
 
Church Documents
 
Discussion
 
Mysticism
 
Prayer
 
Prayer Requests
 
RCIA
 
Vocations
 
Ray of Hope
 
Saints
 
Social Doctrine
 
Links
 
Contact
 







A Practical Commentary On Holy Scripture by Frederick Justus Knecht D.D.

[Mat. 18:15–35. Luke 17:1–4]

JESUS, continuing His teachings, said: “If thy brother shall offend thee, go and reprove him between thee and him alone. If he shall hear thee, thou shalt gain thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, take with thee one or two more. If he will not hear them, tell the Church; and if he will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as a heathen and a publican. Amen I say unto you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose on earth, shall be loosed also in heaven.”

Peter asked Jesus: “Lord, how often shall my brother1 offend me and I forgive him? till seven times?” But Jesus answered: “I say not to thee till seven times, but till seventy times seven.”1 Thereupon Jesus related

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant. The kingdom of heaven is likened1 to a king who would take an account of his servants. When he had begun to take the account, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents1. As he had not wherewith to pay it, his lord commanded that he should be sold, and his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.”

But that servant, falling down, besought him, saying: “Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.” Now the lord of that servant, being moved with compassion, let him go, and forgave him the debt.

But when that servant was gone out, he found one of his fellow-servants that owed him a hundred pence, and laying hold of him he throttled him, saying: “Pay what thou owest!”

Then his fellow-servant, falling down, besought him, saying: “Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.” Yet he would not; but went and cast him into prison till he should pay the debt. Now his fellow-servants, seeing what was done, were very much grieved; and they came and told their lord all that was done.

Then his lord called him and said to him: “Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all the debt, because thou besoughtest me. Shouldst not thou, then, have had compassion on thy fellow-servant, even as I had compassion on thee?” And his lord, being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all the debt. So also shall My heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not everyone his brother from your hearts.

The authority of the apostles. Our Lord gave the power of binding and loosing to the other apostles also; but as He had already made Peter the foundation-rock of the Church and the key-bearer of the kingdom of heaven, it is clear that the other apostles (and their successors) must exercise this power in unity with Peter (the Papal See), and in subjection to him.

To admonish and convert sinners is a spiritual work of mercy; but it should be done without passion, and with the pure intention of converting and saving the sinner. “He who causes a sinner to be converted from the error of his ways, shall save his soul from death, and cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:20).

The infinite mercy of God to repentant sinners, and the hardness of man towards his neighbour are equally shown in the parable we have just read.

The king is God. The servant who owed ten thousand talents is the sinner. Sin being an injury to the infinite Majesty of God, there rests on the sinner the burden of an infinite debt, which he can never pay of himself, and for which he deserves an eternal punishment. If, however, the sinner confesses his guilt with contrition, and prays to God for pardon, Almighty God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, will remit the whole overwhelming debt of his sin, as well as its eternal punishment—but on the condition that he will equally forgive those who injure him.

The second servant who owed the first a hundred pence is one who has injured his fellow-man. In comparison with the offence against the Majesty of God, any injury towards a fellow-creature is, as far as the fellow-creature is concerned, only a trifle. Now, if the injured man, who is a sinner in the eyes of God, wishes to obtain from the divine mercy pardon of his infinite debt of sin, it is only fair and just that he should himself show mercy to one who has injured him, and forgive what is such a trifling debt. If he will not do so, he proves himself to be unforgiving and revengeful; the just (the angels and saints) will be filled with holy indignation, and accuse him before God; and God will not forgive him his debt, but will thrust him into hell, where he must remain for ever, because he is incapable of ever paying his debt.

The fifth petition of the Our Father is explained by this parable; it being clearly shown that he who does not forgive his fellow-men “from his heart”, cannot obtain forgiveness from God, but will be rejected by Him, and banished for ever from His Presence.

The debt of sin. This parable likewise shows that the guilt of sin is inconceivably great in the eyes of God, because by it His infinite Majesty is offended.

Good resolutions. The debtor in the parable made a resolution to pay off his debt if he could. So also we who are sinners should make firm resolutions to offer satisfaction for our sins.

The Divinity of our Lord. His words: “My heavenly Father” contain a direct testimony to His own Divinity.

Slavery. A wretched slavery prevailed throughout all heathendom, men and women being bought and sold like mere goods and chattels. Through Jesus Christ and His Church this slavery has been abolished.

APPLICATION. Think of the number and greatness of your sins. From your early childhood not a day has passed that you have not offended God either by thought, desire, word, deed, or the omission of what you ought to have done. You have wasted and misused grace, and have, perhaps, committed mortal sins. And yet God has borne with you, spared you and forgiven you! Praise Him and love him for what He has done for you.

(Compare Commentary Old Test. XVII.)








Copyright ©1999-2018 e-Catholic2000.com