Father Rodney Torbic

July 30 / August 12, 2018

The Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost


Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses. (KJV)

The servant of the king requested patience. He wanted more time to be able to pay his debt. How many contemporary believers seek the patience of God and are in need of more time to repent of sins?

How often do believers fail to live in ways pleasing to God and fall deeper into debt through increased sinfulness? The Psalmist said: “If You, Lord should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?” (Ps. 129/130:3)

Each believer is behooved to constantly appreciate the patience and mercies of God and renew attempts to be faithful to God. The king was moved with compassion.

The Psalmist said: “Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” (Ps. 105/106:1) The king released his servant and forgave his debt.

The king’s goodness benefited not only the servant, but also the servant’s family. Individuals do not live in isolation. A person’s relationship with God determines the nature of personal relationships.

The goodness of God to a particular individual impacts the relationships the person has because it affects the nature of the person. The king’s servant was the recipient of mercy and goodness.

The servant did not make the king’s goodness and mercy a part his personal life. Believers are expected to live in ways established by the Lord Jesus Christ. Growth in Christ is expected from the time of Holy Baptism.

Christians are expected to increasingly take on the qualities present in Christ. How many professed Christian truly exhibit qualities of Christ in their daily personal and professional lives?

If more professed Christians truly lived in ways pleasing to Christ the relationships between many family members, neighbors and nations would be vastly different.

The forgiven servant of the king had an opportunity to show mercy and forgiveness to his personal servant. The forgiven servant was not forgiving. He was quite demanding and punitive.

How many employers are punitive to their employees when they could be more forgiving? How many husbands and wives could improve their relationships between themselves or with their children by being more forgiving?

How many families would be strengthened if forgiveness was more prevalent in relationships among family members? How many friendships would be renewed, repaired and enriched if individuals were more forgiving?

The forgiven servant punished his own servant for failing to pay his accounts. How many individuals with great wealth have received acts of forgiveness enabling them to keep their wealth while being less than kind to individuals indebted to them?

How many government officials pass stringent laws requiring strict adherence by their constituents but exempting themselves from adherence? How many Christians have been forgiven many times but are unforgiving with others?

The forgiven servant chose to be punitive in his personal affairs with his personal servant. He did not take into account the goodness demonstrated to him by the king.

How many Christians take time each day to consider the forgiveness and mercy shown by God and correspondingly change the way their personal lives are lived?

The present Gospel is intended to change individual lives. Listeners to the Gospel are expected to become more “Christ-like”. The Gospel has the power to change lives. Individuals must be receptive for change to occur.

Hardened hearts and ears that do not hear prevent change from taking place. Closed minds prohibit change from taking place. Narrow-mindedness keeps positive change from taking place.

Jesus said: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” (Mt. 7:21) Being a Christian means living at the highest possible standards of life.

July 30 / August 12, 2018
The Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost.

Fr. Rodney Torbic
Hidden Valley, Pennsylvania

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