Tuesday, March 3, 2009
"In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
"This is how you are to pray:
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
"If you forgive men their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions."
Class of 2010
The Lenten season is a special time for Catholics around the world to reflect on their lives and strive to truly understand their relationships with others and with God. Matthew 6:7-15 is a piece of Scripture in which Jesus takes the time to guide us on how we are to reflect and repent. We as a community of faith constantly use the Lord's Prayer as a means of communication with our Lord, but do we truly listen to and understand the words in it?
Just look at how it begins, "Our Father." Those two simple words start this prayer, this plea, by acknowledging that God is our superior and our guide. You can go through the rest of the prayer piece by piece and find a clear and meaningful message that we declare to our Lord every time we pray those lines, yet so often we don't even realize what we're saying. I find it so refreshing to slow down every so often and really examine just what I am proclaiming to my Lord. To remind myself just how significant my words are is to reinforce what my relationship with God really means and entails.
Towards the end of this week's Scripture message, Jesus tells the crowds that in order to be forgiven by their heavenly Father they must be willing to forgive others for wrongdoings done to them. I feel that this message is an extension of Jesus' proclamation, "As the Father has sent Me, so I send you." Who are we to deserve forgiveness from our God if we are not willing to look at our brothers and sisters in Christ and be too stubborn to forgive them for their shortcomings? We as human beings were created in the image and likeness of God. Thus we have an obligation to our Creator and our brothers and sisters to act, as our human limitations allow, like our Creator. If God is willing to forgive us for our sins, we must be willing to forgive others. Through the forgiveness of others we can begin to understand the unconditional love that the Lord has for us.
Through this Lenten season may we as a community of believers take time every day to reflect on who we are, repent for our wrongdoings, and most importantly forgive others who come forward seeking absolution. If we do these things, we will become more Christ like, and our relationship with our Creator will be cultivated, deepened, and enriched.