Today’s Gospel: Matthew 6:7-15
Today’s Gospel from Matthew is about how we should pray. Jesus gives us the example in what we know as the “Our Father”. The prayer itself does many things. It reminds us of God’s sovereignty over His Kingdom, Heaven and Earth. The prayer shows us that we must work towards understanding and living out God’s will and not our own. We petition for sustenance, the greatest of these being the Holy Eucharist. We then ask for one of the hardest things for human beings to do: forgiveness because we must forgive others, just as God has forgiven us.
How many of us struggle to truly forgive? Do we bring up a previous fight with our husband when we are in the middle of a new one? Is there someone we are no longer speaking to? Are we unforgiving of our co-workers? Are we slow to forgive our children? The fact of the matter is that being Christian means forgiving quickly. It does not mean forgetting, but it means forgiving and moving on. It is right to be hurt, but we cannot hold onto resentment. This is deeply difficult for us in our sinful nature. We want to hold onto things and at times we desire revenge.
There is a very good reason why pride and anger are deadly sins. Resentment kills us. It kills our souls and it blinds us to God’s love, including his love for the person we are angry at for one reason or another. Every single one of us has been hurt. Only you and I can choose to forgive a transgression, though. We have to ask Christ for the grace and strength to forgive as He does, to love as He does. What does His love look like? Look at the Cross. It is total self-emptying love. It means abandoning our pride and letting past hurts go. This is not easy and takes longer for others, but it is crucial that we constantly pray to forgive others. Christ forgave the people who crucified Him. He was giving us an example to live by. Only when we forgive will we be set free and live as Christ has called us to live.
Is there someone I need to forgive? How can I work to forgive them? Do I need to seek forgiveness from someone?
Lord, as you loved me and died for me on the Cross, I ask that you enlighten my heart with your love and forgiveness, and teach me to forgive others.
Copyright 2014 Constance Hull