June 16, 2016

Gospel MT 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 others their transgressions,
your Heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”
Reflection:
Here we have a prayer to live by. It is a prayer, if followed, will lead us to a godly life.
But first, Jesus cautions us not to “babble”, to go “on and on” when speaking to God. “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
We can believe this, for regardless of the many things that a child may request, their parent already knows what the child really “needs”.
We honor God by referring to Him as Father and calling for His name to be “hallowed.”
Then, we call for His will to be done on earth, just as it is in heaven.
It is only after honoring God that we seek his help.
We first ask God to give us “bread” so that we may sustain life. For without substance, we cannot live to honor God, or work to bring about “His will” on earth.
Next, we ask for His forgiveness and a willingness to forgive others. To  ask for forgiveness is an acknowledgment that we are imperfect. To forgive others is to be made in the image of God.
Finally, we ask God to protect us from temptation and deliver us from evil. For “temptation” is the tool of evil and draws us away from God, our protector.
“If you forgive others their transgressions,
your Heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

Jesus makes it perfectly clear:
Our failure to forgive others is the chain by which we tether ourselves to this earth.
But, our willingness to forgive others is the key that opens the gates of heaven.
“Forgiveness is the most powerful thing you can do for yourself on the spiritual path. If you can’t learn to forgive, you can forget about getting to higher levels of spiritual awareness.”            – – Dr. Wayne Dyer