August 13, 2020 – 19th Week of Ordinary Time

“Entrusting ourselves to the Lord and imitating Him, knowing that God’s Plan of Salvation (GPS) for human beings is His Mercy!”

(Based on Ezek 12:1-12 and Mt 18:21-19:1 – Thursday of the 19th Week of Ordinary Time)

A tech-savvy young man was once explaining the functioning and usage of a smartphone to an elderly priest.

The use of GPS (Global Positioning System) was among the few things that he taught the senior priest.

Explaining GPS, the man told of how it can be used to quickly locate places, move from one place to another effortlessly…
… and adding, “You know Father, even if you lost your direction, the GPS will safely guide you

It will only give a message, ‘Re-routing’ and then guide you to your location, provided your destination is proper”.

Hearing this, the priest reflected a while and said, “Ah! So this is a beautiful reflection of the way God is, isn’t it?”
… and he continued: “Every time we stray, God safely guides us. Every time we miss the way, He prompts the right direction. He gives the message ‘re-routing’ and amazingly shows the way to proceed ahead. Of course, all we need to ensure is that our destination is Holiness!”

The priest concluded by saying, “I think GPS for me stands for God’s Plan of Salvation…
… and GPS for human beings is His Mercy!”

That’s truly beautiful, isn’t it?

God’s Plan of Salvation (GPS) for human beings is His Mercy!

The Gospel of the Day is the mighty message of the Lord to share in this Divine attitude of reaching out Mercy to everyone in our life.

To be merciful involves the aspect of forgiveness.

Many of us have our moments of grappling with the aspect of ‘forgiveness’.

For some people, it’s easy…
But some others struggle hard in serving out pardon…

Jesus today teaches us this necessary virtue of “forgiveness”.

To the query of Peter, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him” (Mt 18: 21), Jesus illustrates His reply with the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant.

One of the principles in this virtue of forgiveness is the avoiding of a “mathematical accounting policy” in granting pardon.

As human beings, there is sometimes an avoidable tendency in us to “keep counts” in our relationships…

We make a count or keep a rough numerical impression…
… of how many times a person has done good to me
… of when was the last time a person behaved badly with me
… of how many times a person has hurt or caused harm to me
… of how often has a person offended me or spoken ill about me

Relationships…
… sometimes get reduced to mere mathematical entities
… sometimes find themselves entangled in the web of calculative units

It’s in such situations that “forgiving” the one who has erred against us becomes a ‘calculative’ affair.

Thus, we find that Peter in the Gospel asks Jesus, “How often must I forgive the brother who has sinned against me?”

We maintain, sometimes, a sort of an imaginary “fault-account” book.

And our thought-process takes the following pattern:

“This person, on so and so date, committed this mistake
And on so and so date, I had forgiven him”.

“This person, on this particular day, had behaved in a very indifferent manner to me
And a particular number of days later, I had extended my pardon”.

But Jesus today warns us to stop looking at life and relationships from a “mathematical” or “calculative” perspective.

What is the basis for Jesus to say this?

It is simply the fact that all of us – without any exception – are the beneficiaries of the Mercy and Forgiveness of God.

God abandons all mathematical calculations in extending His forgiveness to us

God lets go of every measure of computation in allowing us to receive His mercy

Rom 3:23 says that “all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God. They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption in Jesus Christ”.

Each of us find ourselves sinking in the “boats of sinfulness and guilt”.
But it is the Mercy of God that still keeps us ashore.

Each of us pass through the “deserts of shame and culpability”
But it is the Forgiveness of God that nourishes us with the oasis of blessings

This “free and underserved” reception of the Forgiveness of God places an undeniable responsibility on us to extend His pardon to all.

The prayer “Our Father” is recited so often by us, during the day or in our prayers.

But do we realize that it contains a clause, whose condition, if not fulfilled, does not help us to receive the “unconditional forgiveness of God”?

We pray, “Forgive us our sins… as we forgive those who sin against us”.

Even though the mercy of God is always made available for us, it can be genuinely received only if one is willing, generous and humble enough to “forgive” the faults of others.

Forgiveness is a powerful weapon that, of course, won’t change the past, but will surely transform the future.

So many are the moments we stray away from the path of the Lord.

But every time we stray, God safely guides us.
Every time we miss the way, He prompts the right direction.

He gives the message ‘re-routing’ and amazingly shows the way to proceed ahead.

Of course, all we need to ensure is that our destination is Holiness!”

Let us entrust ourselves to the GPS of our lives and imitating the Lord… knowing that
… God’s Plan of Salvation (GPS) for human beings is His Mercy!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Retire at various times into the solitude of your own heart, even while outwardly engaged in discussions or transactions with others…

… and talk to God!”

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