24th Sun A
Christian conversion is promoted by conversation. This section is a response to and a development on the knowledge gained from the commentary section.
This Sunday's Exposition
Whenever we overreact in a situation our personal alarm bells should go off. And whenever we see another overreacting, we should ask: what is happening? What is really going on inside this person?
The king in the Gospel was foolishly indulgent towards the official in allowing him to run up such a debt. Forgiving the debt was even more indulgent yet the official still does not understand that this happened because of the king’s mercy. He continued to indulge his overweening sense of self entitlement. The amount owed to him was less than .1% (yes, there is a point in front of that 1) and it would have gone nowhere towards the debt he had owed the king. Yet he lashes out in irrational, violent anger at the servant who owed him such a paltry amount. The other servants are rightly horrified, as is the king, whose indulgence comes to an abrupt end. One can image the official in goal, years later, still not understanding it, believing himself to have been wronged.
His overreaction should have been the cause to pause and ask: ‘Why am I acting like this?’ This is the way conscience works – it produces uncomfortable, sticky emotions in us that disturb our life. Rather than lash out, we are meant to use that energy to go inside ourselves and ask serious questions about our behaviour and the values by which we direct our lives. Imagine if that official had used that strong, even violent energy to confront his sense of self-entitlement – he would have had to face his own improper behaviour and recognise the mercy shown to him. In doing that, he would then have allowed mercy to flow through him to the servant.