Today’s Gospel: Matthew 6:7-15
This prayer that Jesus taught us shows us how to worship God and His name. It tells us about the promises of His kingdom and the provision that God has for His children. We are encouraged to approach God as Father and to come to Him for our needs. Jesus even says God already knows them before we ask, like any good father does. But salvation and the forgiveness of our sins come with a condition. God is merciful but just. He is ready to forgive us if we extend forgiveness to others.
It doesn’t matter how well you pray. If you harbor unforgiveness, you may as well be babbling like the pagans. These are tough words.
There was a time in my life when I couldn’t find it in my heart to forgive somebody who hurt me. In fact, there have been many times, and there will be many more. A friend once recommended something to help me. She told me that at the moment in Mass when the priest holds up the consecrated host and says the words, “Lord I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof but only say the word and my soul shall be healed,” that I should choose that moment to lay my burden at the altar. I did, and eventually forgiveness came. I won’t lie and say it was easy or that once I did it the bitterness didn’t come creeping back in. It does, and you have to consciously let it go and keep giving it back over and over again as many times as it takes. It is hard work.
Is there any unforgiveness in your heart that is creating an obstacle between you and God? Try offering it up at Mass and make a conscious effort to forgive. Don’t worry about not feeling warm and fuzzy. The feelings will follow later. God cares about the turning of our will towards Him. This is what counts.
Lord, this is so difficult for me. When I want to withhold forgiveness, please help me to desire the opposite. When I can’t desire forgiveness, help me to desire to desire forgiveness. I trust in you.
We thank our friends at The Word Among Us for providing our gospel reflection team with copies of Abide In My Word 2015: Mass Readings at Your Fingertips. To pray the daily gospels with this wonderful resource, visit The Word Among Us.
Copyright 2015 Victoria Garaitonandia Gisondi