Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost
Twenty-First Sunday After Pentecost
From Fr. Leonard Goffine's Explanations of the Epistles and Gospels for the Sundays, Holydays, and Festivals throughout the Ecclesiastical Year 36th edition, 1880

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At the Introit of the Mass is said a prayer of Mardochai, which may be used in all necessities:

INTROIT All things are in thy will, O Lord: and there is none that can resist thy will: for thou hast made all things, heaven and earth, and all things that are under the cope of heaven: thou art Lord of all. (Esth. xiii. 9, 10.) Blessed are the undefiled in the way: who walk in the law of the Lord. (Ps. cxviii.) Glory etc.

COLLECT Keep, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy family by Thy continued goodness: that, through Thy protection, it may be free from all adversities, and devoted in good works to the glory of Thy name. Thro'.

EPISTLE (Ephes. vi. 10-17.) Brethern, Be strengthened in the Lord, and in the might of his power. Put you on the armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil: for our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in high places. Therefore take unto you the armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breast-plate of justice, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace: in all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of, the most wicked one: and take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.

Quote:EXPLANATION The apostle teaches the Ephesians how hard and dangerous a struggle every Christian has to make, not against human enemies of flesh and blood, but against spiritual, invisible enemies, who were at one time powerful princes in heaven, but through sin became princes of the darkness of this world, who govern the adherents of the world, and exercise their evil influence in the air as well as on the earth, as far as God permits them, for our chastisement or trial.

He shows us also the manner in which we can gain the victory in the evil day, that is, the time of temptation, and particularly at the hour of death, when he admonishes us to have confidence in God and gives us the weapons for the contest. We should, therefore, gird ourselves with the girdle of truth, which shows us that honor, concupiscence and riches are vain and useless; we should put on the breast-plate of justice which is made of good works: the shoes, by regulating our lives according to the precepts of the gospel, which alone can give us true peace; the shield of faith, which teaches us how richly God rewards virtue and how terribly He punishes those who succumb to temptation and sin; the helmet of salvation, namely, confidence in God and the hope of heaven; the sword of the word of God, by making use, when violently tempted, of consoling and strengthening expressions of Holy Scripture, by which we can put the devil to flight, according to the example of Christ (Matt. iv.) and the saints. - Let us diligently use these weapons, and we shall be victorious in this spiritual combat, and be crowned with eternal glory in heaven.

GOSPEL (Matt. 18: 23-35.) At that time, Jesus spoke to his disciples this parable: The kingdom of heaven is likened to a king, who would take an account of his servants. And when he had begun to take the account one was brought to him that owed him ten thousand talents. And as he had not wherewith to pay it, his lord commanded that he should be sold, and his wife and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. But that servant falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And the lord of that servant, being moved with pity, let him go, and forgave him the debt. But when that servant was gone out, he found one of his fellow-servants that owed him a hundred pence: and laying hold of him, he throttled him, saying: Pay what thou owest. And his fellow-servant falling down 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 paid the debt. Now his fellow-servants, seeing what was done, were very much grieved: and they came and told their lord all that was done. Then his lord called him, and said to him: Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all the debt, because thou besoughtest me: shouldst not thou then have had compassion also on thy fellowservant, even as I had compassion on thee? And his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt. So also shall my heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not every one his brother from your hearts.

Who are understood by the king, and the servants?

The King is God, and the servants are all mankind.

What is meant by the ten thousand talents?

The ten thousand talents, according to our money more than ten million dollars, signify mortal sin, the guilt of which is so great that no creature can pay it; even all the works of the saints cannot make atonement, because by every mortal sin the infinitely great, good, and holy God is offended, which offence it is as impossible for any creature to cancel as it is for a poor servant to pay a debt of ten million dollars. Nevertheless God is so merciful that He remits the whole immeasurable debt of sin, on account of the infinite merits of Christ, if the sinner contritely begs forgiveness and amends his life.

Why did the master order, not only the debtor, but also his wife and children to be sold?

Probably because they assisted in contracting the debt, or gave occasion for its increase. This is a warning to those who in any way make themselves partakers of others' sins, either by counsel, command, consent, provocation, praise or flattery, concealment, partaking, silence and by defending ill-done things.

What is understood by the hundred pence?

By the hundred pence are understood the offences committed against us, and which, in comparison with our debt against God, are very insignificant.

What does Jesus intend to show by this parable?

That if God is so merciful and forgives us our immense debts, we should be merciful and willingly forgive our fellow-men the slight faults and offences, which they commit against us; he who does not this, will not receive pardon from God, in him will be verified the words of the apostle St. James: Judgment without mercy to him that hath not done mercy. (James ii. 13.)

Who are those who throttle their debtors?

These are, in general, the unmerciful, but particularly those who have no compassion for their debtors; those who immediately go to law and rest not until the debtor is left without house or home; those who oppress widows and orphans, if they owe them anything, thus committing one of the sins which cry to heaven for vengeance; (Ecclus. xxxv. 18. 19.) those who even in just lawsuits act harshly and severely with their opponent, without the slightest inclination to come to an agreement with him; finally, rulers and landlords who overburden their subjects with excessive tithes and taxes, and exact their share with the greatest rigor.

Who are those who accuse these hardened men before God?

They are the guardian angels and their own conscience; the merciless act itself cries to God for vengeance.

What is at to forgive from the heart?

It is to banish from the heart all hatred, ill-will and revengeful desires, to treasure a true and sincere love towards our offenders and enemies not only in our hearts, but also manifest it externally by deeds of charity. Therefore those have not forgiven from their hearts, who, indeed, say and believe, that they have no ill-will against their enemy, but everywhere avoid him, refuse to salute him, to thank him, to pray for him, to speak to him, and to help him in necessity, even when they might do so, but who rather rejoice at his need.


Have patience with me. (Matt. xviii. 26.)

Since God has such great patience with us, ought not this to move us to have patience likewise with the faults and weaknesses of our fellow-men, and to resign ourselves patiently in all the sufferings and tribulations sent us from God? What will your impatience avail you? Will you thereby change or ease your sufferings? Do you thereby correct the faults of your neighbor? No; on the contrary, it makes suffering more oppressive, misfortune greater, and the erring neighbor more obstinate, so that he will ultimately refuse even mild and patient corrections. Besides impatience leads to many sins, to cursing, raillery, quarrelling,. contention, and murder. The pious Job gives us a good example of true patience and resignation to the will of God. He was a wealthy, respected, God-fearing man in the land of Hus, the father of seven sons and three daughters, and lived peacefully and happy. God wished to try him and permitted the devil to vent his entire rage upon him. Job was deprived of his children and all his property, and, finally, he was himself afflicted with the most painful disease of leprosy. But in the midst of all these dreadful misfortunes he remained calm. Naked, covered only with a few patches, he sits on a dunghill, a picture of misery, and yet no sound of murmuring comes from his lips, he does not curse, does not blaspheme God, but says resignedly: The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away: as it hath pleased the Lord, so is it done: blessed be the name of the Lord. To all this misery was added the baseness of his own wife, who came and mocked him, and of three intimate friends, who instead of consoling him, judged him falsely and said, that his misery was a just punishment from heaven.

Still Job did not murmur against God's wise dispensations; with unshaken patience he faithfully confided in God, and he was not forsaken. God rewarded him well for his fidelity and patience; for He restored him to health, and gave him greater wealth than he had previously. See what patience can do, what reward is in store for it! And thou a Christian, a follower of Christ, the patient, crucified Lamb, art immediately irritated, become angry and morose at every little cross which you meet! Be ashamed of your weakness, and learn from the pious Job, to practice the virtue of patience, for patience proves hope, and hope permits us not to be put to shame. Patience always gains the victory, and will be rewarded in heaven.

If you find yourself inclined to impatience, make every morning a firm resolution to battle bravely against this vice and often ask God for the virtue of patience in the following prayer:

O God who by the patience of Thy only-begotten Son hast humbled the pride of the old enemy, vouchsafe that devoutly considering what He has suffered for us we may cheerfully bear our adversities, through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, etc.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost
Taken from The Liturgical Year by Dom Prosper Guéranger  (1841-1875)

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The remaining Sundays are the last of the Church’s cycle; but their proximity with its final termination varies each Year, according as Easter was early or late. This their movable character does away with anything like harmony between the composition of their Masses and the Lessons of the Night Office, all of which, dating from August, have been appointed and fixed for each subsequent week. This we have already explained to our Readers. Still, the instruction, which the Faithful ought to derive from the sacred Liturgy, would be incomplete, and the spirit of the Church, during these last weeks of her Year, would not be sufficiently understood by her children, unless they were to remember that the two months of October and November are filled, the first, with readings from the book of the Machabees, whose example inspirits us for the final combats—and the second, with lessons from the Prophets, proclaiming to us the judgments of God.

Mass.—Durandus, Bishop of Mende, in his Rational, tells us that this, and the following Sundays till Advent, bear closely on the Gospel of the Marriage Feast, of which they are really but a further development. “Whereas,” says he, speaking of this twenty-first Sunday, “this Marriage has no more powerful opponent than the envy of Satan—the Church speaks to us today on our combat with him, and on the armor wherewith we must be clad, in order to go through this terrible battle, as we shall see by the Epistle. And because sackcloth and ashes are the instruments of penance, therefore does the Church borrow, for the Introit, the words of Mardochai, who prayed for God’s mercy in sackcloth and ashes.”

These reflections of Durandus are quite true; but if the thought of her having soon to be united with her divine Spouse is uppermost in the Church’s mind, yet it is by forgetting her own happiness, and turning all her thoughts to mankind, whose salvation has been entrusted to her care by her Lord, that she will best prove herself to be truly his Bride, during the miseries of those last days. As we have already said, the near approach of the general judgment and the terrible state of the world during the period immediately preceding that final consummation of time is the very soul of the Liturgy during these last Sundays of the Church’s Year. As regards the present Sunday, the portion of the Mass which used formerly to attract the attention of our catholic forefathers was the Offertory, taken from the book of Job, with its telling exclamations, and its emphatic repetitions. We may in all truth say that this Offertory contains the ruling idea, which runs through this twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost.

Reduced like Job on the dung-hill to the extremity of wretchedness, the world has nothing to trust to but to God’s mercy. The holy men who are still living in it, imitating in the name of all mankind the sentiment of the just man of Idumea, honor God by a patience and resignation, which do but add power and intensity to their supplications. They begin by making their own the sublime prayer made, by Mardochai, for his people, who were doomed to extermination. The world is condemned to a similar ruin.

In voluntate tua, Domine, universa sunt posita, et non est qui possit resistere voluntati tuæ: tu enim fecisti omnia, cœlum et terram, et universa quæ cœli ambitu continentur: Dominus universorum tu es.
All things, O Lord, are in thy power, and no one can resist thy will: for thou madest all things, heaven and earth, and all things that are contained within the compass of the heavens: thou art Lord of all.

Ps. Beati immaculati in via: quia ambulant in lege Domini. Gloria Patri. In voluntate.
Ps. Blessed are the undefiled in the way: who walk in the law of the Lord. Glory, &c. All things.

The Church shows us very clearly, in the Collect, that although she is quite ready to go through the roughest times, yet she prefers peace; because that furnishes her with undisturbed freedom for paying to her God the united homage of religion and good works. The closing petition made by Mardochai, in the prayer, whose commencement forms our Introit, was that God would bestow on his people the liberty necessary for that occupation on which the world’s well-being ever depends—we mean, the occupation of giving praise to God. These were Mardochai’s grand words: May we live, and praise thy name, O Lord! and shut not thou the mouths of them that sing to thee!

Familiam tuam, quæsumus Domine, continua pietate custodi: ut a cunctis adversitatibus, te protegente, sit libera: et in bonis actibus tuo nomini sit devota. Per Dominum.
Preserve thy family, O Lord, we beseech thee, by thy constant mercy: that, under thy protection, it may be freed from all adversities and be devoted to thy name in the practice of good works. Through, &c.

The other Collects, as in the Fourth Sunday After Pentecost.

Lesson of the Epistle of St. Paul, the Apostle, to the Ephesians. Ch. vi.

Brethren: Be strengthened in the Lord, and in the might of his power. Put you on the armour of God, that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places. Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice, And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace: In the high places: or heavenly places. That is to say, in the air, the lowest of the celestial regions; in which God permits these wicked spirits or fallen angels to wander. In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit (which is the word of God).

Quote:The early beginnings of man’s union with his God are, generally speaking, deliciously calm. Divine Wisdom, once he has led his chosen creature, by hard laborious work, to the purification of his mind and senses allows him (when the sacred alliance is duly concluded) to rest on his sacred breast, and thoroughly attaches the devoted one to Himself, by delights which are an ante-dated heaven, making the soul despise every earthly pleasure. It seems as though the welcome law of Deuteronomy were always in force, namely, that no battle and no anxiety must ever break in upon the first season of the glorious Union. But this exemption from the general taxation is never of long duration; for combat is the normal state of every man here below.

The Most High is pleased as seeing a battle well fought by his christian soldiers. There is no name so frequently applied to Him by the Prophets as that of the God of Hosts. His divine Son, who is the Spouse, shows himself here, on this earth of ours, as the Lord who is mighty in battle. In the mysterious nuptial Canticle of the forty-fourth Psalm, he lets us see him as Most Powerful Prince, girding on his grand Sword, and making his way, with his sharp arrows, through the very heart and very thick of his enemies, in order to reach, in fair valiance and beautiful victory the Bride he has chosen as his own. She too, just like him—she, the Bride, whose beauty he has vouchsafed to love, and wills her to share in all his own glories—yes, she too advances towards him, in the glittering armor of a warrior, surrounded by choirs singing the magnificent exploits of the Spouse, and she herself terrible as an army set in array. The armor of the brave is on her arms and breast; her noble bearing reminds one of the tower of David with its thousand bucklers.

United to her divine Lord, warriors the most valiant stand about her; they merit that privilege by their well-proved sword and their skill in war; each one of them has his sword quite ready, because of the night surprises, which the enemy may use against this most dear Church. For until the dawn of the eternal day, when the shadows of this present life are put to flight by the light of the Lamb, who will then have vanquished all his enemies—yes, until that day, power is in the hands of the rulers of the world of this darkness, says St. Paul, in today’s Epistle; and it is against them that we must take to ourselves the armor of God, which he there describes; we must wear it all, if we would be able to resist, in the evil day.

The evil days, spoken of by the Apostle last Sunday, are frequent in the life of every individual, as likewise in the world’s history. But for every man, and for the world at large, there is one evil day, evil beyond all the others: it is the last day, the day of judgment, the day of exceeding bitterness, as the Church calls it, on account of the woe and misery which are to fill it. We talk of so many years as passing away, and of centuries succeeding each other; but all these are neither more nor less than preparations hurrying on the world to the Last Day. Happy they who, on that Day, shall fight the good fight, and win victory! or who, as our Apostle expresses it, shall stand, while all around them is ruin, yea, stand, in all things, perfect! They shall not be hurt by the second death; wreathed with the crown of justice, they shall reign with God, on his throne, together with his Son.

The war is an easy one, when we have this Man-God for our Leader. All he asks of us is what the Apostle thus words: Be strengthened in the Lord, and in the might of his power! It is leaning on her Beloved that the beautiful Church is to go up from the desert; and thus supported, she is actually to be flowing with delights, even in those most sad days. The faithful soul is out of herself with love when she remembers that the armor she wears is the armor of God, that is, the very armor of her Spouse. It is quite thrilling to hear the Prophets describing this Jesus, this Leader, of ours, accoutred for battle, and with all the pieces we too are to wear: he girds himself with the girdle of faith; then he puts the helmet of salvation on his beautiful head; then, the breast-plate of justice; then, the shield of invincible equity; and finally, a magnificently tempered sword, the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God. We should almost think we were here having a list of our own arms; well, yes, but they are his, first; and the Gospel shows him to us as entering, Himself, on the great battle, that he might show us how to use these same divine arms, which he puts upon each of us, if we will be be his soldiers.

This armor consists of many parts, because of its varied uses and effects; and yet, whether offensive or defensive, all of them have one common name—and that name—is Faith. Our Epistle makes us say so. And our Jesus, our Leader, taught it us, when to the triple temptation brought against him by the devil on the mount of Quarantana, he made answer to each temptation by a text from the sacred Scriptures. The victory which overcometh the world is our Faith, says St. John. When St. Paul, at the close of his career, reviews the combats he had fought through life, he sums up all in his telling word: I have kept the faith. The life of Paul, in that, should be life of every Christian, for he says to us: Fight the good fight of faith! It is Faith which, in spite of those fearful odds enumerated in today’s Epistle as being against us—it is Faith that ensures the victory to men of good will. If in the warfare we must go through we were to reckon the chances of our enemies by their overwhelming forces and advantages, it is quite certain that we should have little hope of winning the day; for it is not with men like ourselves, it is not, as the Apostle puts it, with flesh and blood, that we have to wrestle, but with enemies we can never grapple with, who are in the high places of the air around us and are, therefore, invisible, and most skilled and powerful and wonderfully up in all the sad secrets of our poor fallen nature, and turning the whole weight of their advantages to trick man and ruin him, out of hatred for God. These wicked spirits were originally created, that, in the purity of their unmixed spiritual nature, they should be a reflex of the divine splendor of their Maker; and now, having rebelled by pride, they exhibit that execrable prodigy of angelic intelligences spending all their powers in doing evil to man, and in hating truth.

How, then, are we—who, by our very nature, are darkness and misery—to wrestle with these spiritual principalities and powers, who devote all their wisdom and rage to produce darkness, so as to turn the whole earth into a world of darkness? “By our becoming Light,” answers St. John Chrysostom. The light, it is true, is not to shine upon us in its own direct brightness until the great day of the revelation of the sons of God; but meanwhile, we have a divine subsidy which supplements sight; that subsidy is—the Revealed Word. Baptism did not open our eyes so as to see God, but it opened our ears so as to give us to hear him, when he speaks to us; now he speaks to us by the Scriptures and by his Church; and our Faith gives us, regarding Truth thus Revealed, a certainty as great as though we saw it with the eyes of either body or soul or both. By this child-like docility, the just man walks on in peace, with the simplicity of the Gospel within him. Better than breast-plate or helmet, the shield of faith protects us, and from every sort of injury; it blunts the fiery darts of the world, it repels the fury of our own passions, it makes us far-seeing enough to escape the most artful snares of the most wicked ones. Is not the word of God good for every emergency? and we may have it as often and as much as we please. Satan has a horror of the Christian who, though he may be weak in other respects, is strong in this divine word. He has a greater fear of that man than he has of all your schools of philosophy and all its professors; he has got accustomed to the torture of such a man’s crushing him beneath his feet and with a rapidity which is akin to what our Lord tells us he himself witnessed: I saw Satan, like lightning, falling from heaven: it was on the great battle day when he was hurled from paradise by that one word michael—exquisite word, which was given to the triumphant Archangel to be his everlasting noble name! and he himself, by that word of God, and by that victory for God, was made our model and our defender. We have already explained to our readers why it is that these closing weeks of the Church’s Year are so full of the grand Archangel St. Michael.

In the Gradual and its Versicle, the Church tells her Lord how he has ever been the refuge of his people: his goodness, like his power, were before all ages, because he is God from all eternity. May he, therefore, now protect his faithful servants who, reduced to a scanty number, as Israel was of old, are preparing the last exodus of the Church, which is leaving this world turned infidel, and is hastening to the true land of promise.

Domine, refugium factus es nobis a generatione a progenie.
Lord! thou hast been our refuge from generation unto generation.

℣. Priusquam montes fierent, aut formaretur terra et orbis: a sæculo, et usque in sæculum tu es Deus.
℣. Before the mountains were made, or the earth and the world were formed: thou art God, for ever and ever.

Alleluia, alleluia.
Alleluia, alleluia.

℣. In exitu Israel de Ægypto, domus Jacob de populo barbaro. Alleluia.
℣. When Israel went out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a barbarous people. Alleluia.

Sequel of the holy Gospel according to St. Matthew.  Ch. xviii.

At that time: Jesus spoke to his disciples this parable: The kingdom of heaven likened to a king, who would take an account of his servants. And when he had begun to take the account, one was brought to him, that owed him ten thousand talents. And as he had not wherewith to pay it, his lord commanded that he should be sold, and his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. Talents: A talent was seven hundred and fifty ounces of silver, which at the rate of five shillings to the ounce is a hundred and eighty-seven pounds ten shillings sterling. But that servant falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And the lord of that servant being moved with pity, let him go and forgave him the debt. But when that servant was gone out, he found one of his fellow servants that owed him an hundred pence: and laying hold of him, throttled him, saying: Pay what thou owest. And his fellow servant falling down, 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 paid the debt. Now his fellow servants seeing what was done, were very much grieved, and they came and told their lord all that was done. Then his lord called him; and said to him: Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all the debt, because thou besoughtest me: Shouldst not thou then have had compassion also on thy fellow servant, even as I had compassion on thee? And his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt. So also shall my heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not every one his brother from your hearts.

Quote:“O thou just Judge of vengeance (on man), grant us the gift of forgiveness, before the Day of reckoning cometh!” Such is the petition that comes from the heart of holy Mother Church as she thinks on what may have befallen those countless children of hers, who have been victims of death during this as every other year; it is, moreover, the supplication that should be made by every living soul, after hearing the Gospel just read to us. The Sequence, Dies iræ, from which these words are taken, is not only a sublime prayer for the Dead; it is, likewise, and especially at this close of the Ecclesiastical Year, an appropriate expression for all of us who are still living. Our thoughts and our expectations are naturally turned towards our own deaths. We almost seem forgotten and overlooked in this evening of the world’s existence, but it not so, for we know from sacred Scripture that we shall join those who have already slept the last sleep, and shall be taken, together with them, to meet our divine Judge.

Let us hearken to some more of our Mother’s words, in that same magnificent Sequence; this is their meaning: “How great will be our fear when the Judge is about to come and rigorously examine all our works!—The trumpet’s wondrous sound will pierce the graves of every land and summon us all before the throne!”—Death will stand amazed, and nature too, when the “creature shall rise again, to go and answer Him that is to judge!—The written Book shall be brought forth, wherein all is contained for which the world is to be tried. —So when the Judge shall sit on his throne, every hidden secret shall be revealed, nothing shall remain unpunished!—What shall I, poor wretch, then say? Who ask to be my patron, when the just man himself shall scarce be safe?—O King of dreaded majesty! who savest gratuitously them that are, save me, O fount of love!—Do thou remember, loving Jesu! that I was cause of thy life on earth! Lose me not, on that Day!”

Undoubtedly, such a prayer as this has every best chance of being graciously heard, addressed as it is to Him, who has nothing so much at heart as our salvation, and who, for procuring it, gave himself up to fatigue and suffering and death on the Cross: but we should be inexcusable, and deserve condemnation twice over, we we to neglect to profit of the advice he himself gives us, whereby to avert from us the perils of “that day of tears, when guilty man shall rise from the dust and go to be judged!” Let us, then, meditate on the parable of our Gospel, whose sole object is to teach us a sure way of settling, at once, our accounts with the divine King.

We are all of us, in fact, that negligent servant, that insolvent debtor, whose master might, in all justice, sell him, with all he has, and hand him over to the torturers. The debt contracted with God, by the sins we have committed, is of that nature as to deserve endless tortures; it supposes an eternal hell, in which the guilty one will ever be paying, without ever cancelling his debt. Infinite praise, then, and thanks to the divine Creditor who, being moved to pity by the entreaties of the unhappy man, who asks for time and he will pay all—yes, this good God grants him far beyond what he prays for—he, there and then, forgives him the debt. He puts but this condition on the pardon, as is evident from the sequel—he insists, and most justly, that he should go and do, in like manner, towards his fellow-servans, who may perhaps owe something to him. After being so generously forgiven by his Lord and King, after having his infinite debt so gratuitously cancelled, how can he possibly turn a deaf ear to the very same prayer which won pardon for himself, now that a fellow-servant makes it to him? is it to be believed that he will refuse all pity towards one whose only offense is that he asks him for time, and he will pay all?

“It is quite true,” says St. Augustine, “that every man has his fellow-man a debtor—for who is the man, that he has had no one to offend him? but at the same time, who is the man that is not debtor to God, for all of us have sinned? Man, therefore, is both debtor to God, and creditor to his fellow-man. It is for this reason that God has laid down this rule for thy conduct—that thou must treat thy debtor as He treats his … We pray every day; every day, we send up the same petition to the divine throne; every day, we prostrate ourseles before God and say to him: Forgive us our debts, as we forgive them that are debtors to us. Of what debts speakest thou? Is it, of all thy debts? or of one or two only? Thou wilt say: Of all. Do thou, therefore, forgive thy debtor, for it is the rule laid upon thee, it is the condition accepted by thee.”

“It is a greater thing,” says St. John Chrysostom, “to forgive our neighbor the trespasses he has committed against us, than to condone him a sum of money; for by forgiving him his sins, we imitate God.” And after all, what is the injury committed by one man against another man, if compared with the offense committed by man against God? Alas! we have all got the habit of that second; even the just man knows its misery seven times over and, as the text probably means, seven times a day; so that it comes ruffling our whole day long. Let this, at least, be our parallel habit—that we contract a facility in being merciful towards our fellow-men, since we, every night, have the assurance given us, that we shall be pardoned all our miseries, on the condition of our owning them. It is an excellent practice not to go to bed without putting ourselves in the dispositions of a little child, who can rest his head on God’s bosom, and there fall asleep; but if we thus feel it a happy necessity to find in the heart of our heavenly Father forgetfulness of our day’s faults, yea, more an infinitely tender love for us his poor tottering children—how can we, at that very time, dare to be storing up in our minds old grudges and scores against our neighbors, our brethren, who are also his children? Even supposing that we had been treated by them with outrageous injustice or insult, could these their faults bear any comparison with our offenses against that good God whose born enemies we were, and whom we have caused to be put to an ignominious death? Whatsoever may be the circumstances attending the unkindness shown us, we may and should invariably practice the rule given us by the Apostle: Be ye kind one to another! merciful! forgiving one another, even as God hath forgiven you, in Christ! Be ye imitators of God, as most dear children! What! thou callest God thy Father, and dost thou remember an injury that has been done thee? “That,” says St. John Chrysostom, “is not the way a son of God acts in! The work of a son of God is this—to pardon one’s enemies, to pray for them that crucify him, to shed his blood for them that hate him. Would you know the conduct of one who is worthy to be a son of God? he takes his enemies, and his ingrates, and his robbers, and his insulters, and his traitors, and makes them his brethren and sharers of all his wealth!”

We here give, in its entirety, the celebrated Offertory of Job, with its Verses. The observations we made at the beginning of Mass will enable us to enter into the spirit of this liturgical piece. As Amalarius says, the Anthem, which has been retained, gives us the words of the historian, who simply relates the facts, one after the other, without any remarks; but in the Verses, we have Job himself speaking, his body all humbled, and his soul full of sorrow: the repetition of the same words, their interruptions, their refrain, their broken phrases, vividly represent his panting for breath, and intense suffering.

Vir erat in terra Hus nomine Job, simplex et rectus ac timens Deum: quem Satan petiit, ut tentaret; et data est ei potestas a Domino in facultates, et in carnem ejus, perdiditque omnem substantiam ipsius, et filios: carnem quoque ejus gravi ulcere vulneravit.
There was a man, whose name was Job, and that man was simple and upright, and fearing God: and Satan asked to tempt him; and power was given him by the Lord over his possessions, and over his flesh: and he destroyed all his substance, and his sons: and he wounded his flesh with a grievous ulcer.

℣. I. Utinam appenderentur peccata mea; utinam appenderentur peccata mea, quibus iram merui, quibus iram merui; et calamitas, et calamitas quam patior: hæc gravior apparet.
℣. I. Oh! that my sins were weighed in a balance! Oh! that my sins, whereby I have deserved wrath—whereby I have deserved wrath—were weighed in a balance! and the calamity—the calamity that I suffer—it would appear heavier!

Vir erat.
There was a man.

℣. II. Quæ est enim fortitudo mea ut sustineam? aut qui finis meus ut patienter agam?
℣. II. For, what is—for, what is—for, what is my strength, that I can hold out? or, what is my end, that I should keep patience?

Vir erat.
There was a man.

℣. III. Numquid fortitudo lapidum est fortitudo mea? aut caro mea œnea est? aut caro mea œnea est?
℣. III. Is my strength the strength of stones? Or, is my flesh of brass?—or, is my flesh of brass?

Vir erat.
There was a man.

℣. IV. Quoniam, quoniam, quoniam non revertetur oculus meus ut videat bona, ut videat bona, ut videat bona, ut videat bona, ut videat bona, ut videat bona, ut videat bona, ut videat bona, ut videat bona.
℣. IV. For,—for,—for, mine eye shall not return to see good things,—to see good things,—to see good things,—to see good things,—to see good things,—to see good things,—to see good things,—to see good things,—to see good things,—to see good things,—to see good things,—to see good things!

Vir erat.
There was a man.

The salvation of the world, and that of each individual man, is virtually, ever in the august Sacrifice, whose power restores man, by appeasing God. With a confidence that fails not, let us use it as the most efficacious recourse that can be made to the divine mercy.

Suscipe, Domine, propitius hostias, quibus et te placari voluisti, et nobis salutem potenti pietate restitui. Per Dominum.
Mercifully receive, O Lord, these offerings, by which thou art pleased to be appeased; and restore us to salvation, by thy powerful goodness. Through, etc.

The other Secrets, as in the Fourth Sunday After Pentecost.

An unflagging hope ever accompanies the admirable patience of holy Church. Persecutions, be they ever so fierce or long, never interrupt her prayer; for as the Communion expresses it, she keeps in her heart a faithful recollection of the word of salvation that was given her by God. Now that we have been nourished by the food of immortality, let us live on it with all evidence of a soul that is made pure.

In salutari tuo anima mea, et in verbum tuum speravi: quando facies de persequentibus me judicium? iniqui persecuti sunt me: adjuva me, Domine Deus meus.
My soul hath looked to be saved by thee, and hath relied on thy word: when wilt thou judge them that persecute me? The wicked ones have persecuted me: help me, O Lord my God!

Immortalitatis alimoniam consecuti, quæsumus Domine: ut quod ore percepimus, pura mente sectemur. Per Dominum.
Having received the food of immortality, we beseech thee, O Lord, that what we have taken with our mouths, we may receive with a pure mind. Through, etc.

The other Postcommunions, as in the Fourth Sunday After Pentecost.
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Fr. Hewko's Sermons for the Twenty-first Sunday after Pentecost



2018 - Two Masses

2019 - Three Masses


"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
by St. Alphonsus Liguori

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"And his Lord, being angry, delivered him to the torture until he paid all the debt.” MATT, xviii. 34.

IN this day’s gospel we find that a certain servant, having badly administered the affairs of his master, was found to owe him a debt of ten thousand talents. The master demanded payment; but the servant falling down said: “Have patience and I will pay thee all.” The master took pity on him, and forgave the entire debt. One of his fellow-servants who owed him a hundred pence, besought him to have patience, and promised to pay him the last farthing; but the wicked servant cast him into prison. Hearing of this act of cruelty to his fellow-servant, the master sent for him, and said to him: “Wicked servant, I have forgiven thee ten thousand talents, and for a debt of a hundred pence thou hast refused to show compassion to thy fellow-servant. He then delivered him to the tortures till he paid all the debt. Behold, dearly beloved brethren, in these last words, a description of the sentence of the eternal death which is prepared for sinners. By dying in sin, they die debtors to God for all their iniquities; and being unable to make any satisfaction in the other life for their past sins, they remain for ever debtors to the divine justice, and must suffer for eternity in hell. Of this miserable eternity I will speak to-day: listen to me with attention.

1. The thought of eternity is a great thought: so it was called by St. Augustine: Magna cogitatio. According to the holy doctor, God has made us Christians, and instructed us in the maxims of faith, that we may think of eternity. “We are Christians that we may always think of the world to come.” This thought has driven from the world so many of the nobles of the earth, has made them renounce all their riches, and shut themselves up in the cloister, there to live in poverty and penance. This thought has sent so many young men into caves and deserts, and has animated so many martyrs to embrace torments and death, in order to save their souls for eternity. “For,” exclaims St. Paul, “we have not here a lasting city, but we seek one that is to come.” (Heb. xiii. 14.) This earth, dearly beloved Christians, is not our country; it is for us a place of passage, through which we must soon pass to the house of eternity. “Man shall go into the house of his eternity.” (Eccl. xii. 5.) In this eternity the house of the just, which is a palace of delights, is very different from the house of sinners, which is a dungeon of torments. Into one of these two houses each of us must certainly go. “In hanc vel illam æternitatem,” says St. Ambrose, “cadam necesse est.; (S. Amb., in Ps. cxviii.)”Into this or that eternity I must fall.”

2. And where the soul shall first go, there she shall remain for ever. “If the tree fall to the south or to the north, in what place soever it shall fall there shall it lie.” (Eccl. xi. 3.) On what side does a tree fall when it is cut down? It falls on the side to which it inclines. On what side, brethren, will you fall, when death shall cut down the tree of your life? You will fall on the side to which you incline. If you shall be found inclining to the south that is, in favour with God you shall be for ever happy; but if you will fall to the north, you must be for ever miserable. There is no middle place: you must be for ever happy in heaven, or overwhelmed with despair in hell. We must all die, says St. Bernard or some other author (de Quat. Noviss.), but we know not which of the two eternities shall be our lot after death. “Necessi morem, post hæc autem dubia ceternitatis.”

3. This uncertainty about his lot for eternity was the constant subject of the thoughts of David: it deprived his eyes of sleep, and kept him always in terror. “My eyes prevented the watches: I was troubled, and I spoke not: I thought upon the days of old, and I had in my mind the eternal years.” (Ps. Ixxvi. 5, 6.) What, says St. Cyprian, has encouraged the saints to lead a life, which, on account of their continual austerities, was an uninterrupted martyrdom? It was, he answers, the thought of eternity that inspired them with courage to submit to such unceasing rigours. A certain monk shut himself in a cave, and did nothing else than constantly exclaim: “eternity! eternity!” The famous sinner converted hy the Abbot Paphnutius, kept eternity always before her eyes, and was accustomed to say: “Who can assure me of a happy eternity, and that I will not fall into a miserable eternity.” The same uncertainty kept St. Andrew Avellino in continual terrors and tears till his last breath. Hence he used to ask every one he met, “What do you say? shall I be saved or damned for eternity?”

4. 0! that we, too, had eternity always before our eyes! We certainly should not be so much attached to the world. “Quisquis in æternitatis disiderio figitur, nee prosperitate attollitur, nee adversitate quassatur: et dum nihil habet in mundo quod appetat, nihil est quod de mundo pertimescat.” He who fixes his thoughts on eternity, is not elated by prosperity nor dejected by adversity; because, having nothing to desire in this world, he has nothing to fear: he desires only a happy eternity, and fears only a miserable eternity. A certain lady, who was greatly attached to the world, went one day to confession to Father M. D Avila. He bid her go home, and reflect on these two words always and never. She obeyed, took away her affections from the world, and consecrated them to God. St. Augustine says that the man who thinks on eternity, and is not converted to God, either has no faith, or has lot his reason. “O æternitas! qui te cogitat, nec pœnitet, aut certo fidem non habet, aut si habet, cor non habet.” (In soliloq.) O eternity! he who thinks on thee, and does not repent, has certainly no faith, or has lost his heart. Hence St. Chrysostom relates, that the pagans upbraided the Christians with being liars or fools: liars, if they said they believed what they did not believe; fools, if they believed in eternity and committed sin. “Exprobabant gentiles aut mendaces, aut stultos esse Christianos; mendaces si non crederent quod credere dicebant; stultos si credebant et peccabant.”

5. Woe to sinners, says St. Cesarius of Arles; they enter into eternity without having known it; but their woes shall be doubled when they shall have entered into eternity, and shall never be able to leave. “Væ peccatoribus, ineognitam ingrediuntur.” To those who enter hell, the door opens for their admission, but never opens for their departure. “I have the keys of death and of hell.” (Apoc. i. 18.) God himself keeps the keys of hell, to show us that whosoever enters has no hope of ever escaping from it. St. John Chrysostom writes, that the condemnation of the reprobate is engraved on the pillar of eternity, so that it never shall be revoked. In hell there is no calendar; there the years are not counted. St. Antonine says, that if a damned soul heard that she was to be released from hell after so many millions of years as there are drops of water in the sea, or grains of sand in the earth, she would feel a greater joy than a criminal condemned to death would experience at hearing that he was reprieved, and was to be made the monarch of the whole world! But, no! as many millions of years shall pass away as there are drops of water in the ocean, or grains of dust in the earth, and the hell of the damned shall be at its commencement. All these millions of years shall be multiplied an infinite number of times, and hell will begin again. But of what use is it, says St. Hilary, to count years in eternity? Where you expect the end, there it commences. “Ubi putas finem invenire, ibi incipit.” And St. Augustine says, “that things which have an end cannot be compared with eternity.” (In Ps. xxxvi.) Each of the damned would be content to make this compact with God – Lord, increase my torments as much as thou pleasest; assign a term for them as distant as thou pleasest; provided thou fix a time at which they shall cease, I am satisfied. But, no! this time shall never arrive. “My end,” the damned shall say, “is perished.” (Lamen. iii. 18.) Then, is there no end to the torments of the damned? No! the trumpet of divine justice sounds in the caverns of hell, and continually reminds the reprobate that their hell shall be eternal, and shall never have an end.

6. If hell were not eternal, it would not be so frightful a chastisement. Thomas a Kempis says, that “everything which passes with time is trifling and short.” Any pain which has an end is not very appalling. The man who labours under an imposthume or a cancer, must submit to the knife or the cautery: the pain is severe; but because it is soon over it can be borne. But a tooth-ache which lasts for three months without interruption is insupportable. Were a person obliged to lie in the same posture for six months on a soft bed, or even to hear the same music, or the same comedy, night and day for one year, he would fall into melancholy and despondency. Poor blind sinners! When threatened with hell they say: “If I go there I must have patience.” But they shall not say so when they will have entered that region of woes, where they must suffer, not by listening to the same music or the same comedy, nor by lying in the same posture, or by tooth -ache, but by enduring all torments and all evils. “I will heap evils upon them.” (Deut. xxxiii. 23.) And all these torments shall never end.

7. They shall never end, and shall never be diminished in the smallest degree. The damned must for ever suffer the same fire, the same privation of God, the same sadness, the same despair. Yes, says St. Cyprian, in eternity there is no change, because the decree is immutable. This thought shall immensely increase their sufferings, by making them feel beforehand, and at each moment, all that they shall have to suffer for eternity. In this description of the happiness of the saints, and the misery of the reprobate, the Prophet Daniel says: “They shall wake some unto life everlasting, and some unto reproach to see it always.” (Dan. xii. 2.) They shall always see their unhappy eternity. Ut videant semper. Thus eternity tortures each of the damned not only by his present pains, but with all his future sufferings, which are eternal.

8. These are not opinions controverted among theologians; they are dogmas of faith clearly revealed in the sacred Scriptures. “Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire.” (Matt. xxv. 41.) Some will say: The fire, but not the punishment of the damned is everlasting. Such the language of the incredulous, but it is folly. For what other purpose would God make this fire eternal, than to chastise the reprobate, who are immortal? But, to take away every shadow of doubt, the Scriptures, in many other places, say, that not only the fire, but the punishment, of the damned is eternal. “And these, “says Jesus Christ, “shall go into ever lasting punishment.” (Matt. xxv. 46.) Again we read in St. Mark, “Where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished.” (ix. 43.) St. John says: “And the smoke of their torments shall ascend up for ever and ever.” (Apoc. xvi. 11.) “Who,” says St. Paul, “shall suffer eternal punishment in destruction.” (2 Thess. i. 9.)

9. Another infidel will ask: How can God justly punish with eternal torments a sin that lasts but a moment? I answer, that the grievousness of a crime is measured not by its duration, but by the enormity of its malice. The malice of mortal sin is, as St. Thomas says, infinite. (1, 2, q. 87, art. 4.) Hence, the damned deserve infinite punishment; and, because a creature is not capable of suffering pains infinite in point of intensity, God, as the holy doctor says, renders the punishment of the damned infinite in extension by making it eternal. Moreover, it is just, that as long as the sinner remains in his sin, the punishment which he deserves should continue. And, therefore, as the virtue of the saints is rewarded in Heaven, because it lasts forever, so also the guilt of the damned in Hell, because it is everlasting, shall be chastised with everlasting torments. “Quia non recipit causæ remedium,” says Eusebius Emissenus, “carebit fine supplicium.” The cause of their perverse will continues: therefore, their chastisement will never have an end. The damned are so obstinate in their sins, that even if God offered pardon, their hatred for him would make them refuse it. The Prophet Jeremias, speaking in the name of the reprobate, says: “Why is my sorrow become perpetual and my wound desperate, so as to refuse to be healed?” (Jer. xv. 18.) My wound, they say, is incurable, because I do not wish it to be healed. Now, how can God heal the wound of their perverse will, when they would refuse the remedy, were it offered to them? Hence, the punishment of the reprobate is called a sword, a vengeance which is irrevocable. “I, the Lord, have drawn my sword out of its sheath, not to be turned back.” (Ezech. xxi. 5.)

10. Death, which is so terrible in this life, is desired in hell by the damned; but they never shall find it. “And in these days men shall seek death, and shall not find it: and they shall desire to die, and death shall fly from them.” (Apoc. xi. 6.) They would wish, as a remedy for their eternal ruin, to be exterminated and destroyed. But”there is no poison of destruction in them.” (Wis. i. 14.) If a man, condemned to die, be not deprived of life by the first stroke of the axe, his torture moves the people to pity. Miserable damned souls! They live in continual death in the midst of the pains of hell: death excites in them all the agony of death, but does not give them a remedy by taking away life. “Prima mors,” says St. Augustine, “animam nolentem pellit de corpore, secunda mors nolentem tenet in corpore. “ The first death expels from the body the soul of a sinner who is unwilling to die: but the second death that is, eternal death retains in the body a soul that wishes to die. “They are laid in hell like sheep; death shall feed upon them.” (Ps. xlviii. 15.) In feeding, sheep eat the blades of grass, but leave the root untouched; hence the grass dies not, but grows up again. It is thus that death treats the damned; it torments them with pain, but spares their life, which may be called the root of suffering.

11. But, if these miserable souls have no chance of release from hell, perhaps they can at least deceive or flatter themselves with the hope, that God may one day be moved to pity, and free them from their torments? No: in hell there is no delusion, no flattery, no perhaps; the damned are as certain as they are of God’s existence that their hell shall have no end. “Thou thoughtest unjustly that I shall be like to thee; but I will reprove thee, and set before thy face.” (Ps. xlix. 21.) They shall for ever see before their eyes their sins and the sentence of their eternal condemnation. “And I will set before thy face.”

12. Let us conclude. Thus, most beloved brethren, the affair of our eternal salvation should be the sole object of all our concerns. “The business for which we struggle, “ says St. Eucharius, “is eternity.” There is question of eternity: there is question whether we will be saved, and be for ever happy in a city of delights, or be damned, and confined for eternity in a pit of fire. This is not an affair of little importance; it is of the utmost and of eternal importance to us. When Thomas More was condemned to death by Henry the Eighth, his wife Louisa went to him for the purpose of tempting him to obey the royal command. Tell me, Lousia, replied the holy man, how many years can I, who am now so old, expect to live? You might, said she, live for twenty years. O foolish woman! he exclaimed, do you want me to condemn my soul to an eternity of torments for twenty years of life?

13. O God! Christians believe in the existence of hell, and commit sin! Dearly beloved brethren, let not us also be fools, like so many who are now weeping in hell. Miserable beings! What benefit do they now derive from all the pleasures which they enjoyed in this life? Speaking of the rich and of the poor, St. John Chrysostom said: “unhappy felicity, which has drawn the rich into eternal infelicity! O happy infelicity, which has brought the poor to the felicity of eternity!” The saints have buried themselves alive in this life, that after death they may not find themselves buried in hell for all eternity. If eternity were a doubtful matter, we ought even then make every effort in our power to escape an eternity of torments; but no, it is not a matter of doubt; it is a truth of faith, that after this life each of us must go into eternity, to be for ever in glory or for ever in despair. St. Teresa says, that it is through a want of faith that so many Christians are lost. As often as we say the words of the Creed, life everlasting, let us enliven our faith, and remember that there is another life, which never ends; and let us adopt all the means necessary to secure a happy eternity. Let us do all, and give up all; if necessary, let us leave the world, in order to secure eternal happiness. When eternity is at stake no security can be too great. “Nulla nimia securitas,” says St. Bernard, “ubi periclitatur æternitas.”

"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre
Taken from Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdgalen's Divine Intimacy: Meditations on the Interior Life for Everyday of the Year


PRESENCE OF GOD - O Lord, as You are so generous in forgiving me, teach me to forgive others generously.


1. “The kingdom of heaven is likened to a king who would take an account of his servants.” Today’s Gospel (Mt 18,23-35) refers to the account which all men will one day be called upon to give. It is a serious thought, which makes us reflect, as we did last Sunday, on the state of our conscience. Yet, as we continue the reading of this parable, our hearts are comforted. God, represented by the king, manifests such kindness, mercy, and compassion to the poor servant who cannot pay his debt; He forgives him everything and sets him free.

The debt of that servant was not a trifling one: ten thousand talents; our debts to God are much greater and cannot be computed in talents, nor in silver and gold; they must be reckoned according to the price of our redemption, the most precious Blood of Jesus. Our debts are our sins which needed to be washed away in the Blood of a divine Victim. In spite of our good will, we increase these debts each day, to a greater or lesser extent, if only by faults of frailty and weakness. Is there one who can say at the day’s end that he has not contracted new debts with God? If, at the end of life, God should place before us an exact account of our deficit, we should find ourselves in a much more embarrassing position than that of the servant in the parable. But God, being infinite goodness, knows and has pity on our misery; each time we place ourselves before Him and humbly acknowledge our faults with sincere repentance, He immediately pardons us and cancels all our debts. God is magnificent when He pardons: He does not reproach us for the faults over which we have already wept, nor does He keep any account of them; His pardon is so generous, so great and complete, that it not only annuls our debts, but destroys even the memory of them, as if they had never existed. It is enough for Him to see us repentant; then every wound, even the most grievous and repugnant, is completely healed by the precious Blood of Jesus. Christ’s Blood is like an immense sea which has the power to cleanse and destroy the sins of all mankind, provided they are sincerely repented of. Every minute of every day we can take the burden, heavy or light as it may be, of our sins and infidelities and make it disappear in this ocean of grace
and love, certain that not one trace of it will remain.

2. The second part of the parable speaks of our forgiveness of others. Returning home, the fortunate servant whose debts had all been cancelled, met one of his fellow servants, who owed him a hundred pence, a very small sum compared with the ten thousand talents which had been cancelled for him. Yet he who had been treated with so much mercy, showed none to his fellow servant; he would neither listen to his pleadings, nor heed his tears, but “went and cast him into prison, till he paid the debt.”

A few moments ago we were moved by the master’s kindness; now the servant’s cruelty makes us indignant. Yet, even though we blush, we ought to recognize that, just as the kindheartedness of the master is the image of the mercy of God, ever ready to pardon, so the cruelty of the servant is the figure of our own hardheartedness and miserliness in forgiving our neighbor. Unfortunately, it is all too true: we who need God’s forgiveness even more than we need our daily bread, are so hard, so demanding toward our fellow men; we find it difficult to be indulgent and forgiving. Yet what are the debts that our neighbor may owe us compared with what we owe to God? Certainly, infinitely less than a few pence compared with ten thousand talents, since it is a matter of an offense committed against a mere creature compared with one committed against the infinite majesty of God. But what a contrast! God pardons, forgets, and entirely cancels all our heavy debts; He does not cease to love us and bestow favors upon us in spite of our continual want of fidelity. We, on the contrary, find it very difficult to forgive some little slight; even if we do forgive, we cannot entirely forget it, and we are ready to reproach the other person at the first opportunity. How would we act if our neighbor committed against us each day the numerous infidelities and faults that we commit against God? Oh! how miserable and constrained is our way of pardoning others!

The parable describes the punishment inflicted on the cruel servant by his master: “And his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt”; and the conclusion follows: “So also shall My heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not your brothers from your hearts.” If we wish God to be generous in pardoning us, we must be generous in forgiving others; we shall be forgiven according to the measure in which we forgive, which means that we ourselves give to God the exact measure of the mercy He is to show to us.


“Is there anyone, O Lord, who is not in debt to You? Is there anyone who has not someone in debt to him? In Your justice You have determined that Your rule of conduct toward me, Your debtor, should be that followed by me in regard to my debtors. Therefore, because I also have sinned—and how often!—I must be indulgent with him who seeks my pardon. In fact, when the time of prayer comes, I should be able to say to You, ‘Forgive me, O Lord, my trespasses,' and how? The condition is laid down by me, I myself fix the law: ‘Forgive me my trespasses as I forgive those who trespass against me.’

“O Lord, You have set down in the Gospel two short sentences: ‘Forgive and it shall be forgiven you; give and it shall be given to you.’ This is my prayer: I ask pardon of You for my sins, and You will that I should pardon others.

“Just as the poor beg from me, so I, Your poor little beggar, stand at the door of my Father’s house; rather, I prostrate myself there, begging and groaning, longing to receive something, and this something is You. The beggar asks me for bread, and what do I ask of You, if not Yourself, for You have said, ‘I am the living bread that came down from heaven?'

“In order to obtain forgiveness, I shall forgive; I shall pardon others, and I shall be pardoned. Because I wish to receive, I shall give, and it shall be given to me.

“If it is hard for me to forgive someone who has offended me, I shall have recourse to prayer. Instead of repaying insults with more insults, I shall pray for the guilty one. When I feel like giving him a harsh answer, I shall speak to You, O Lord, in his favor. Then I shall remember that You promise eternal life, but You command us to forgive others. It is as if You said to me, ‘You who are a man, forgive other men, so that I, who am God can come to you °”? (St. Augustine).
"So let us be confident, let us not be unprepared, let us not be outflanked, let us be wise, vigilant, fighting against those who are trying to tear the faith out of our souls and morality out of our hearts, so that we may remain Catholics, remain united to the Blessed Virgin Mary, remain united to the Roman Catholic Church, remain faithful children of the Church."- Abp. Lefebvre

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