From a Creighton Student's Perspective
June 21, 2012
Sophomore, Theology Major
In today’s Gospel reading, we hear Jesus sharing with his disciples the Lord’s Prayer. I think it can be easy to get into a rhythm when we say the “Our Father” at Mass every Sunday, and we sometimes fall into the habit of not necessarily thinking about the words which we are speaking. It is for this reason specifically that I enjoy this Gospel passage. After reading today’s Gospel, I began to really appreciate the Lord’s Prayer specifically in regards to how Matthew portrays Jesus’ conclusion to the prayer he had just taught his friends.
He tells the disciples, "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." In saying this, Jesus makes the Lord’s Prayer specifically meaningful in relation to how we live our lives. Jesus draws a direct connection between our treatment of others and our relationship with God. Forgive if we want to be forgiven, and through our forgiveness and love, we are also simultaneously working to bring about the Kingdom of God on Earth. It is a simple enough thought, but one that is nevertheless a challenge to live out.
However, along with calling us into action in regards to our forgiveness of others, another large part of the “Our Father” lies in how it is spoken. Jesus prayed to God in a very intimate manner, calling God his “Father,” not simply addressing God as an all-powerful being who should be feared and respected. In teaching the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus is calling his disciples to look upon God as a Father who can be trusted and in whom we should put our trust, for the “Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Today’s Gospel calls us to act, yes, but it also calls us to smile in the knowledge that we are loved. It calls us to trust in God, and through that trust, become aware that love will set us free.
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