Divine Mercy Minutes with Jesus is a pocket... Read more
By Fr. Joseph, MIC (Mar 3, 2009)
Readings: Is 55:10-11 Mt 6: 7-15
"If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you." Mt 6:14
Today's Gospel brings us perhaps the most common prayer of our faith. If you had a dollar bill for each time you recited the Lord's Prayer in your lifetime, how much money would you have? It is not uncommon to go on spiritual autopilot when reciting a familiar prayer such as this one.
Spiritual masters have always encouraged slow, prayerful meditation on the Word of God. Take three minutes and turn to St. Matthew's Gospel and contemplate Jesus' words. This prayer came directly off the lips of the One who was sent to die for you. When Jesus hung on the cross, He endured excruciating pain as He asked His Father to forgive those who were crucifying Him. Think of that for a moment. Jesus, perfectly holy, and Love Itself, was beaten, tortured, and deliberately killed. How did He respond? With love and forgiveness.
After you read the "Our Father" in St. Matthew's Gospel, take note of the sobering words found in verses 14-15. The bottom line is that God expects you to forgive exactly as He forgives. Examine your heart right now and see if there are any resentments or weeds of unforgiveness you have been nurturing. As difficult as it may be, you must forgive if you are to be a follower of Jesus Christ.
God knows that this is for your benefit as well, because the failure to forgive others acts like a spiritual cancer in the soul. It is impossible to be full of joy and peace when you refuse to let go and forgive as your Father in heaven forgives you.
Lord Jesus, please help me to be more like You and forgive those who have hurt me. I want Your forgiveness, Lord, and know that I can only receive it by offering forgiveness to others. Amen.