March 7, 2017 – Tuesday of the First Week of Lent
Saints Perpetua and Felicity, Martyrs
Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (email@example.com)
Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)
A Reading from the holy Gospel according to 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.”
Reflect: If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. As if to reprise the teaching of the Lord’s Prayer with one more power punch, Jesus emphasizes the priority of forgiveness. Throughout Lent, we plead with God to be merciful for we have sinned. In today’s Gospel there isn’t any doubt that if we expect to be forgiven, then we need to forgive; however, if we dare not forgive, then our Heavenly Father will not forgive us. We can spend lots of time and energy about why we shouldn’t forgive. Maybe we’ve been profoundly hurt by another. Maybe it’s our pride that gets in the way. Maybe we’re convinced that our lack of forgiveness is justified. Maybe we need to think again. These words about forgiveness come from the Savior who went to death on the cross based on lies. He was disrespected, dishonored, embarrassed, made to be the fool – out of love for us – and still forgave his executioners, his condemners, his maligners from the cross moments before his death: “Father, forgive them…” Do we need any better example? May the Lord give us the grace to stand before him at our own judgement with a track record of forgiveness in our lives.
Who am I struggling to forgive today? Can I release God to forgive those who I just can’t forgive myself? What am I holding on to that stops me from forgiving another?
Pray: Loving God, forgive me my trespasses as I forgive those who trespass against me. I ask this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.
One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.
ENCOUNTERING THE DIVINE PHYSICIAN (Gospel of Luke 5: 17-26)
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