How Do I Love My Enemies?

Oh no! Harry and Michael, two of my friends, are having a dispute over who will get the muffins I left on the table. These are the same loaf muffins I bought at the end of The Pope: Part 1 — Did Jesus Make Peter the First Pope (yes, they taste good).

The situation is getting worse. I have to do something about this!

I pray for God’s guidance, walk toward Harry and Michael, and ask them what is going on.

I Question My Friends

Me: “What’s going on?”

Harry: “Michael will not give me the loaf muffins on the table! I claimed them first, and was about to sink my teeth into the delicious, mouth-watering loaf flavor when this cat took them away!”

Michael: “Harry is lying. I claimed them first! Therefore, I should have them.”

Harry: “No, me!”

Michael: “No, I!”

Harry: “No, me!”

Me: “I see that you are having an argument over two loaf muffins. Couldn’t you have one muffin each?”

Harry: “That’s not fair, since I was about to eat them before Michael.”

Michael: “You’re the one who’s not acting fair, Hairy Harry!”

While there are two loaf muffins and two cats who want the muffins, each cat in the argument wants both. This is an example of pride. We are all infected with it because of Adam and Eve’s original sin.

Me: “I think I need to show both of you how to love your enemies.”

Harry: “Are you trying to call me out?”

Michael: “Are you trying to say I am a villain?”

Me: “Hah, hah… not really. Let me explain. You are arguing over the loaf muffins I left on the table. However, there isn’t much at stake in this argument. In the Bible, Jesus made parables, which are brief stories Jesus used as metaphors for what he was teaching. He would use these to teach moral lessons and make difficult concepts such as Heaven easier to understand. The parable I am going to talk about is often called The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant.”

Harry: “You’re saying I’m an unforgiving servant?”

Michael: “I want to hear this. Let Cat talk.”

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

Me: “Thank you. Jesus told Peter this parable when Peter asked how many times he should forgive someone for sinning against him. In response, Jesus provided the following story. You can look it up later in Matthew 18:21–35.

“There was a servant who owed ten thousand talents to a king, an amount so large it would be impossible to pay back. The king ordered for everything the servant had, including his family, to be sold, since the servant could not pay back the debt. The servant begged for his master to give him time to pay the debt. What do you think happened next?”

Michael: “If this was a worldly king, he would show no mercy.”

Me: “Right. But this king was different. He listened to the servant’s plea and forgave him of everything.”

Michael: “How much money, in modern currency, did the servant owe to the king?”

Me: “Ten thousand talents. That equals around twenty billion US dollars!”

Michael: “Wow!”

Harry: “Why did the servant owe such a large sum to his master?”

Me: “That’s something I’ll get to later. After the king forgave his servant of the debt, the servant ran into a fellow servant who owed him a much smaller debt. This servant owed the forgiven servant one hundred denarii, which is around two thousand US dollars.”

Michael: “Compared to what the king had just forgiven him of, that’s a tiny sum!”

Me: “What do you think the forgiven servant did when he saw the servant who owed him this debt?”

Harry: “I guess he must had forgiven the other servant.”

Me: “That’s what the forgiven servant should had done, but let’s see what happened. Matthew 18:28 in my NIV Bible says, ‘But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.’”

Michael: “Oh, my!”

Harry: “What happened next?”

Me: “I should note that the NIV translation says a hundred silver coins instead of a hundred denarii. This is because the NIV doesn’t follow the language of the original Bible as closely.”

Michael: “Thank you for clarifying.”

Me: “You welcome. Anyway, the servant who was being choked plead for mercy. The forgiven servant, who we will now refer to as the unforgiving servant, ignored the man’s pleas and sent him to prison.”

Harry: “That’s not fair! The servant should had forgiven the other servant who owed him a small amount of cash.”

Michael: “I’m assuming the unforgiving servant didn’t get away with what he did.”

Me: “He didn’t. The unforgiving servant’s fellow servants saw what he did and informed their master of what the servant had done. The master was furious. He asked the servant why he didn’t forgive the other servant if he, the king, had forgiven him of the non-payable debt. The king sent him to be tormented in prison until he paid back the debt of ten thousand talents.”

Michael: “I see why you are telling us this parable.”

Harry: “Maybe we shouldn’t have acted the way we did.”

Repentance

Me: “After Jesus told St. Peter this parable, He said, ‘This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.’ He says this in Matthew 18:35.”

Michael: “We needed a dose of humility! I was acting prideful because I thought Harry was wrong. I don’t know whether Harry or I claimed the muffins first.”

Harry: “I’m sorry for acting rude about the parable.”

Michael: “I’m sorry, too.”

Harry: “Since God has forgiven us of our sin, a debt we owe to Him that we cannot pay, surely we can forgive each other, split the muffins between each other and move on.”

Michael: “No longer do I want you to be my enemy. I also apologize for calling you Hairy Harry.”

Harry: “Technically, I am hairy because I am a cat. But I forgive you.”

Me: “By the way, Harry and Michael, don’t worry about whether God will forgive you or not. God has already forgiven both of you. Admit what you did wrong and accept that God has forgiven you, since He already has.”

Michael: “I once was told by someone that we have problems with self-hatred not because God won’t forgive us. Rather, we struggle with this because we can’t accept God’s forgiveness.”

Conclusion

After Harry and Michael prayed to God, I gave them one loaf muffin each.

Me: “Enjoy the loaf muffins!”

Michael: “Thanks!”

Harry: “Thanks, Cat. By the way, why are these called loaf muffins?”

Me: “I think it has to do with the realm of the internet. I dare not venture into the depths of the search engine.”

The End

———————–

Thank you for reading! The Pope – Part 2 is coming soon.

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This article was written by…

I now sport a finely combed mustache to celebrate the release of my new newsletter, Catholic Cat Investigates. …Still not a loaf of bread. Got Spirit?

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