The Prayer of Forgiveness

Matthew 6: 7-15
Is 55: 10-11/ Ps 34: 4-7,16-19

If you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive you either.
(Matthew 6:15)

The Lord’s Prayer is in every way
The most complete prayer there is.
As Jesus taught us how to pray,
Let’s pray it constantly for peace.

Jesus instructed His disciples on praying: “Your Father knows what you need, before you ask Him. Pray, then, in this way: Our Father Who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Do not bring us to the test, but deliver us from evil. If you forgive others their wrongs, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive you either.” (Mt. 6: 8-15)

Reflection

Our Lord taught us this prayer in order that we may seek to have a closer personal relationship with His Father. The first word, “Our” denotes this unity with all of God’s children, as well as with His Beloved Son. That single word brings the Supreme Being, Creator of the Universe to us as a loving, caring Father. And so we ask Him each day to sustain and nourish us, not only with food on the table, but with the Body of His Son in the Eucharistic meal. More importantly, we also say this prayer for peace. But we cannot have true peace unless we ourselves are penitent of our sins and ask for God’s forgiveness (knowing the gravity of His sacrifice for their remission), and pledge to likewise forgive those who wrong us, so that we may be considered worthy to be His children.

Jesus said, “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.” (Mt. 5:44) A community brother was persecuted for many years by bitterness towards his godson, who had cost him his life’s savings in a failed business venture. To help the young man, he had hired him to be the manager of his piggery, but because of negligence and unexplained expenses, he lost more than a million Pesos in the venture. Many years later, already in the renewal, he and his wife learned that the daughter of their godson was dying of cancer. Filled with compassion, his wife convinced him to pay the man and his sick daughter a visit in the hospital. If only for the sake of his godson’s dying daughter. This brother put aside his bitter feelings and forgave the man, even offering words of consolation. It was on a much happier note that his godson’s daughter died peacefully afterwards, having witnessed the great reconciliation. But just two days later, our kind brother was also called home by his heavenly Father, (heart attack) as if it was God’s will that this brother of ours left this world on a clean slate.

Lord Jesus, we thank You for teaching us how to pray to God, our Father, so that we may always be trusting in His mercy and to learn the value of forgiveness. Amen.

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