Dear father Angelo,
if the ruthless servant had asked God forgiveness on his deathbed, would God have forgiven him yet again? I would be grateful if you could explain to me the parable because the priest at the end of the sermon said that God at some point can do nothing else.
The priest’s answer
1. The servant who owes his master ten thousand talents represents each one of us in front of God.
Ten thousand talents were in fact at that time an insolvable debt.
God has saved each one of us from the torments of hell, an eternal sorrow which is insolvable.
Even he who never committed a mortal sin must say he was forgiven in advance with mother Therese of Baby Jesus, because God has denied him the occasion to sin. That if we had had opportunities for sin like others had, we would have probably fallen and perhaps in a worse way.
2. Here is the beautiful text of Saint Therese in Lisieux: “I know it, the one to whom you forgive less, loves less” but I also know that Jesus has forgiven me more than saint Mary Magdalene thus preventing me from falling. Ah, how much I would love to explain how I feel!. Here is an example that will explain my thought.. suppose a doctor’s son came across a stone on his path that makes him fall, by falling he breaks a limb and his father reaches him to raise him with love, he cures him by spending all his possessions, and soon the cured son shows him his gratitude. Certainly this son is right in loving his father. But I will make another hypothesis. The father, knowing there is a stone, hurries up to remove it without anyone seeing him. Of course this son who is the object of his father’s prudent tenderness, not aware of the misfortune from which he has been saved by his father, this son will not be grateful and will love his father less than if he had been healed by him. But if he knew the peril from which he has been rescued, will he not love his father more?. Well, I am that son, object of the prevident love of a Father who sent not the Word to rescue the righteous but the sinners. He wants me to love Him because He has forgiven not much but everything. He didn’t wait for me to love him as much as Mary Magdalene but he wanted me to know he has loved me of an ineffable foresight so that now I can love Him to death!” (The story of a soul, 120).
3. Being pardoned from many torments, with our souls filled by the mercy received we should be inclined to show mercy to those who owe us something.
The servant’s cruelty to whom everything had been pardoned has caused the indignation of the master who calls him to recognise the ungratefulness shown.
4. Saint Thomas, thinking of those words “Thus the Lord called upon him “ said: “The Lord calls with death: “You will call and I will answer” (Gb 19,16).
It’s a calling that of death which nobody can pretend not to hear. He must obey like it or not.
That servant therefore has had to appear in front of his Master and receive his insolvable punishment because it is eternal.
Saint Thomas further explains:” If punishment must not cease till debt is repaid, and noone without grace can repay it, whoever dies without charity cannot repay” (comment to Saint Matthew’s gospel).
Your parish priest has therefore explained in the right way.
I bless you and remember you to the Lord and wish you all the best.