We must forgive to be forgiven. If we expect any mercy at all from Him, we have to forgive each other as He forgives us--fully, deeply, without reservations or conditions. To hold a grudges is to poison our own souls. To overcome an unwillingness to forgive another in our heart, three things are needed: 1. To call to mind God's love for us when we've sinned against Him; 2. To be honest with ourselves about how we've sinned against others; and 3. To be objective and take the other person's perspective. It is that simple. It is that difficult.
This Parable on this Sunday of the Church Year serves as a springboard for Great Lent. To truly know yourself is to turn your gaze away from deceptive external appearances in others and turn your focus internally onto your own fallen humanity. Then, embracing that humanity and trusting in the great kindness of God our Savior, to utter that one simple phrase that ushers in repentance and brings along with it the healing grace of God and His righteousness: "God be gracious to me, a sinner."
Being prepared is important. Though all have been given unique abilities by God, we are judged according to the deeds which are a manifestation of our diligence in exercising those God-given gifts. To be prepared is to willingly take Christ's yoke upon ourselves that we might learn from Him as He helps us to engage in the work He has given us to do in His Father's Kingdom.
With Pacha eleven Sundays away, the lowly in heart are invited to find the sycamore tree that corresponds to their own weakness. We are invited to find that which enables us to ascend beyond our worldly passions and worldly enemies that we might fix our eyes clearly on the Christ; that He might see us and invite us to share in the beautiful "Today" of His salvation.