March 11, 2014

The Gospel Today 

Tuesday of the First Week of Lent

Matthew 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
“In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This is how you are to pray:

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

“If you forgive men their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

Reflection (Sem. Alejandro Pestaño):

     One of the disciplines of the season of lent that we need to observe is prayer.  It is in this season that most of us become enthusiastic to pray.  Prayer is very important, because through prayer we can communicate with God who is our Creator.  In our Gospel today, Jesus taught His disciples how to pray.  The prayer which Jesus taught to His disciples is commonly known to all of us as the Lord’s Prayer which we consider as a prayer par excellence. Scrutinizing closely the Lord’s Prayer one can easily distinguish that the first part is directed to the Father and the second part presents our petitions to the Father.

     One of the striking parts of this prayer is the petition , where we ask God to forgive our trespasses (sins/debts) as we forgive those who trespass (sinned/debtors) against us. This part is very significant because it means that as we ask God for forgiveness, we need also to forgive others.  We have no right to ask for forgiveness from God, if we do not have the plan or the intention to forgive our brothers and sisters who have sinned against us.  Perhaps, this could be the reason why we have the saying “kung ang Diyos nakapagpapatawad bakit ikaw hindi makapagpatawad ng kapwa.

     The Gospel today and the season of Lent are inviting us to focus ourselves on the value of repentance.  This is the time when we can recollect what had happened to our life for the past years, andwhat do we need to change.  As we do this, we are also invited to recall the people who have done wrong to us.  This season is also a season of forgiving and so as we recall them, let us also offer our forgiveness to them.  Sometimes it may be difficult for us to forgive others especially those people who have done great damage in our life but after all this is the essence of the commandment of God to love our neighbor.  Forgiving others may entail our own death – death to our pride, to our selfishness but we can lift this up to Jesus so that as He rise from His own death we too may rise with Him and become an obedient and loving children of God.

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