Tuesday of the Third Week of Lent

March 17, 2020

DN 3:25, 34-43/MT 18:21-35

Imagine being kidnapped and enslaved for years in a foreign country. Eventually, you escape, but decide to return there years later. How would you treat your enemies? 

Well, in St. Patrick’s case… climb a mountain, pray for six weeks on the freezing summit for the conversion of this pagan land, and bring thousands of Irish people to Christ  

We’ve all been hurt by people, some more severely than othersI definitely felt forgotten and unimportant after being deeply disappointed by a dear friend. Angrily, asked God why He wanted me to stay, if I was just going to get rejected like in past friendships. 

Then I saw Him bruised and bloodied, with tears streaming down His face. Still, He looked on me with such love and gentleness. “His mercies are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23), even though I continually stumble, and my sins against Him weigh eternally more than the sin against me.  

Realizing this, how can I not offer the same, generous, life-changing gift to my friend? 

The first servant in today’s Gospel did not truly appreciate the king’s compassion. If he had, he would have shared it with the second servant.  

Forgiveness is difficult, and not a one-time event, especially when the sin cuts us deep. St. Patrick experienced a grave injustice, and must have been tempted to take revenge on the Irish. Yet the bishop knew that he—and everyone else—were the first servant with the massive debt before an unspeakably holy King… a King who graciously relieved His servant’s debt of sin with His own blood.  

Patrick, by evangelizing Ireland,rightly understood that such grace shouldn’t be kept for one’s self. Through his intercession, may we allow God’s mercy to transform and convict us to share it “seventy-seven times seven,” as Jesus commands.


Hazel Jordan
Graduate Student,
Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity