2 Corinthians 11:1-11
Matthew 6: 7-15
Today’s Gospel recalls the prayer that is most likely the first one we learnt as children and the one we say more often than any other. The words roll off the tongue and no doubt each of us has a favourite phrase in the prayer.
There are many books written about the Our Father, and scholars have dissected each phrase, giving us insight into all the hidden meanings and connections for each word. While this may be helpful at different times in our lives, it is also good just to sit with the picture of Jesus, sharing this prayer with his friends.
Matthew adds a telling comment to the prayer, which focuses on forgiveness. The message is clear; we will only be forgiven in the measure we forgive others. It is easy to be righteous about the times we have been hurt, slighted, or falsely accused and demand an apology. While justice is important, and certainly in relation to serious events, how often do we forgive first?
Today might be the day to begin forgiving others for the hurt they have caused us and accepting the frailties of others rather than demanding apologies. Surely the experience of being forgiven by God will be its own reward.
Margaret Bentley is a Salesian Sister and is currently the Academic Manager at the English Language Studies for Pastoral Ministry (ELSPM) begun by the Passionists in 2014 to enable their students to learn English before continuing to the Novitiate or theological studies.