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Daily Devotional for November 25

November 25                                            Matthew 18:21-35

              " ...should you not have had mercy
         on your co-worker, as I had mercy on you?"

A popular expression says, "What goes 'round comes 'round."
Today's Gospel contains just that idea: the unmerciful servant
ends up in the same prison into which he has had his fellow
servant cast, and for the very same reason.

Jesus taught this principle on many occasions. "Judge not," he
said, "and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will
not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven... . For
the measure you give will be the measure you get back." (Luke

It seems logical enough. But is that all there is? Is that the extent
of the good news? Is life no more than an inescapable cycle
of karmic retribution and reward?

To say "Yes" would be to miss the central Gospel message of
God's unconditional love. The good news is precisely that God
did not wait for us to earn divine mercy and forgiveness, but,
like the ruler in the parable, has had pity on us and forgiven
us everything. That is why Paul wrote, "But God shows love
for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
(Romans 5:8)

It is only when we, like the unmerciful servant, fail to allow
the same love of God that saved us to become the basis of our
human relationships that we fall back into the karmic cycle.
Then we are left to suffer alone in the prison of our grudges,
self-righteousness, and hard-heartedness.

Who is it in your life that you have not completely forgiven?
Your father? Mother? Spouse? Brother or sister? Son or
daughter? Co-worker?

Let your prayer today be: "Lord, have patience with me." God
will show you how to forgive from your heart.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.

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