Sirach 48: 1-14
Matthew 6: 7-15
We hear again today the importance of forgiveness. Interesting in today’s gospel, when His friends ask Jesus how they ought to pray, He leads them to thanksgiving, petition and forgiveness. In Chapter 6 of Matthew, Jesus devotes instruction to prayer, fasting and alms giving. Today’s passage deals with prayer, and what Jesus is teaching is so very counter to the understanding of prayer by the Gentiles
The Gentiles (i.e. mainly the Romans and Greeks) would stand before their hunks of stone or hollow metal and recite name after name after name of the gods, looking to get the attention of the god. Jesus, on the other hand, instructs a brief prayer that has been recited millions and billions and trillions of times throughout the ages. Its simplicity is beautiful and its meaning powerful.
“Our Father”…a recognition that I am not in charge, that there is someone greater than me on whom I can rely to take care of me. A good father cares for his children, never abandons them, and passionately desires good things for them…God the Father fits that exactly. “Who art in heaven…”, our Father has an eternal presence, He is in this world but not of this world so we will some day be with Him in heaven. “Hallowed be thy name…”, everything about the Father is holy even down to simply speaking His name. “Thy kingdom come, they will be done on earth as it is in heaven”, You heavenly Father are in charge so I give myself to you. “Give us this day our daily bread…”, we need everything spiritual and physical to do Your will Father so please lead us to them.
“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…” Uh oh. Uh oh. Want to be forgiven? Want God to forget about that goofy stuff you have done? Forgive others. I know it can be difficult, but we pray it every day. Forgive me Lord but only as I have forgiven others, so if I have not forgiven others, then do not forgive me. Uh oh. Kind of dangerous.
Today. Do not wait. Today, forgive someone you simply have refused to forgive or someone you just really do not like
Smile at God today!