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February 20

FOCUS:  Trust in God and God’s timing.


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Sometimes we forget how much God desires to be with us. Our readings today reveal His desire for us to thrive under His guidance and protection.

God teaches us through the Prophet Isaiah that His Word, given to us freely, achieves His Will in us without fail. When we read this passage in the light of Jesus Christ, we know that Jesus is the Living Word sent by the Father to all of humanity.  Jesus tells his disciples, and us, that his food is to do the will of the Father.  He always does what is pleasing to the Father.  In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus offers to do the will of the Father (Matthew 26:29).  The will of the Father was that his Son, Jesus Christ, die in such a way as to obtain the definitive and complete victory over death itself.  Jesus obeys the Father’s will and conquers death by dying and offering himself as an innocent sacrifice in love.

In Jesus’ instructions on how to pray, he emphasizes a spirit of humility, giving our attention to God the Father, not bringing attention to ourselves. Jesus, out of His love for us, gives us the words of the Our Father. Contained in this prayer are seven petitions, giving us all that we need to be in union with Him.

Consider what one of the early church fathers teaches us about the Our Father: “The mercy of God is beyond description. While he is offering us a model prayer he is teaching us a way of life whereby we can be pleasing in his sight. But that is not all. In this same prayer he gives us an easy method for attracting an indulgent and merciful judgment on our lives… If we are faithful in this prayer, each of us will ask forgiveness for our own failings after we have forgiven the sins of those who have sinned against us, not only those who have sinned against our Master.” As always, Jesus is inviting us to imitate him in his perfect obedience to the Father.

The Our Father provides us model to love, honor and obey the Father, and to love, honor and obey each other. Let us renew ourselves by taking time to reflect on each of the seven petitions over the next week, asking the Lord to reveal how we can better live that for which we ask.

Today’s Question for Prayer and Reflection

Do you treat others as you think they deserve to be treated, or do you treat them as the Lord has treated you - with mercy and love?

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