Journey to Daily Prayer – Day 7
Tuesday in First Week of Lent
“forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors”
Today, we continue with the theme of loving and serving God by being like him. Yesterday, loving and serving God looked like loving and serving fellow Christians, especially those in need. Today’s readings expand on how to love and serve God—by forgiving all others as our Father forgives us. We forget that the Lord’s Prayer is always within the larger context of Jesus’s teachings. For example, in Luke, the disciples ask Jesus “Lord, teach us to pray” (Lk 11:1). But today in Matthew’s reading, the Lord’s Prayer concludes by Jesus instructing his disciples to forgive others because their Father forgives them (Mt 6:14-15). In other words, the Lord’s Prayer is for us to not only seek forgiveness from our Father in heaven, but to forgive others the same way our Father forgave us. And our Father truly does forgive us doesn’t he? Isaiah reminds us that God desires to “abundantly pardon” us (Is 55:7). In fact God sends his Word, who becomes flesh, just so we can experience forgiveness through his atonement. Christ, the Word of God, sacrifices himself for us so that we can be forgiven all our sins. His forgiveness gives life to our souls, in the same way that water and snow give life and fruit to barren and dry ground. So, if we have been forgiven by God, how much more are we to forgive others like God?
Grant to thy people, Lord, grace to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil, and with pure hearts and minds to follow thee, the only true God; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and. ever. Amen.