Meditation – 17th September 2017

The Deep End – Generous Love

A remarkable story of generosity featured on
Joe Duffy’s Liveline: Call Back programme on RTÉ
recently. It was the story of Shane O’Neill, who had
a history of drugs offences and ended up serving time
in prison in Belgium. On release from prison he went
to the Irish Embassy to ask for the price of a flight to
return home, but was turned down. Another Irish
man, Charlie Kiernan, overheard the exchange and
decided to help, booking him a flight and buying him
breakfast. When Shane asked how he could repay
him, Charlie suggested he ‘pay it forward’. The kind
gesture was the catalyst for Shane turning his life
around.
It is this sort of generous love that we hear
about in today’s Gospel, in the parable told by Jesus.
The master who cancels the servant’s debt does so
out of compassion and generosity. It is of no benefit
to him to pardon the debt. He will be down ten
thousand talents – one talent was worth more than 15
years’ wages of a labourer, so we are talking about a
large sum of money! The servant is grateful, but not
so grateful that he is willing to take pity on a fellow
servant who owes him just one hundred denarii –
one denarius was the usual day’s wage for a labourer.
The parable speaks to us about the kindness of
God, but also what he expects from us. Because we
have been loved, we must love. Because we have
been forgiven, we must forgive.

Tríona Doherty