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THURSDAY OF THE NINETEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME

11TH AUGUST 2022


FORGIVING IS BOTH EXTRAVAGANT AND PRECIOUS.

ST CLARE, VIRGIN, MEMORIAL.

EZEKIEL 12:1-12

PSALM 78:56-62

MATTHEW 18:21-19:1

Forgiveness in today’s Gospel reading is both an extravagant and precious thing.We know that extravagant means lacking restraint in spending money or using resources.It also means exceeding what is reasonable or appropriate.It can also mean lacking in moderation.

We also know that the word precious means something of great value, to be wasted or treated carelessly.

These definitions are well understood when Jesus gives the parable of a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants and found one who owed him ten thousand talent.

Wanting to settle his accounts means he really valued the accounts and that is why he ordered that the wife and children of his servant as well as his property be sold since this mentioned servant could not pay the debt.

Here we see that ten thousand talents are equal to the servant’s wife , children and property and they can only be released if he pays the debt he owes the king.

Can we see extravagance and preciousness here in that nothing is taken lightly?

Comparing a man’s wife and children with ten thousand talents can be said to be what if not high value?

A search in Wikipedia notes that a talent weighed roughly 50kg in gold. It also states that 6000 talents, which is the bribe paid by King Auletes to become king of Egypt to Julius Caesar is worth $ 8,400,699,422 today. So 1000 talents would be well over a billion dollars today.

Now imagine ten thousand talents in Kenyan shillings today, and this is what is forgiven in today’s Gospel reading and Jesus says this should happen seventy times seven. Is this not extravagance if you multiply seventy times seven by today’s monetary value of ten thousand talents?

Forgiveness is indeed extravagant and precious based on what is being forgiven and the relationship between the one forgiving and the one being forgiven and what is at stake.

When we talk about is at stake we should know that it is not in terms of anything physical or monetary but it is relational though related to the physical and to the monetary. It is relational because what we do badly either accidentally or intentionally may affect the people that we relate with.

When you cheat, lie, steal or gossip, you do so towards others. Will the relationship be the same? It won’t. It will be full of suspicion, mistrust and bitterness.

No price tag can be placed on any human person. Human beings are priceless. When we do something for others in terms of giving it is because of the value and honour that we attach to the relationships that we are in.

In today’s Gospel reading, the servant who together with his family were to be sold would have lost his job and in being sold,his relationship with his family would have been affected.The family would have wondered why and how he got them in such a situation.

When the merciful father forgave his prodigal son and organized a big home coming party for him, it is true that a substantial amount of money was used misused by the son and another substantial amount was spent in welcoming him but in the end a relationship was restored.

When you forgive, what has been done to you and by who determines the length to which you can go to actually forgive.

To what length do you think you can go in order to forgive? At this moment, what makes it difficult for you to forgive?

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