Often when I read Scripture, I'm reminded of the old adage - the more things change, the more they stay the same. So it is with today's first reading from 2 Corinthians 11. "For if someone comes and preaches another Jesus...or if you receive a different spirit...you put up with it well enough." Sounds an awful lot like today.
In the Gospel reading today from Matthew 6, Jesus teaches His disciples how to pray. He teaches them the prayer we all know as the Our Father. It is probably one of the very first prayers we learn when we are children. We recite it every time we go to Mass. It is probably so familiar that we don’t even think about what we’re saying. The words just roll off our tongues. What a shame if that is the case. Just like reading Scripture (as mentioned above), we should deeply reflect and meditate on this prayer every time we say it.
It is interesting to see what Jesus says immediately after the Our Father. “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.” Wait just a minute here… Doesn’t God love and forgive us unconditionally? Jesus here seems to intimate that there is a condition on our forgiveness from God. We must first forgive others. This is a verse of Scripture that most people probably don’t know. Many have probably never heard it. But now you know. So the next time you say the Our Father, I hope you’ll remember this “lost verse.” Oh, and let it change you.
Father, we’re so sorry for our unforgiveness. Give us a heart to forgive others, that you may forgive us. Amen.