“When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
“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.”
These last few words in this powerful Gospel reading according to Matthew are a call to action directly from Jesus. He calls us to forgive without limit. It is just as applicable today as it was when He walked the earth. This Gospel refers back to the Golden Rule. How do we follow this? Although it is so simple, so basic, we oftentimes miss the mark.
Let us pray today that we will return to strive to fulfill the most basic teachings of Christ and always protect the human dignity of all life. But when we fall short, we pray that we will have the courage to humbly ask for forgiveness and begin again, working to fulfill the basics. When others fail and sin against us, may we be as forgiving as Christ, so that he may forgive us when we meet Him on judgement day, but also to promote human dignity at all times. Lord, help us to return to the basics.
– Reed Milnor,’19 is a member of the Sophomore Pastoral Team at St. Louis U. High.
Oh God, I wish from now on
to be the first to become conscious
of all that the world loves, pursues, and suffers.
I want to be the first to seek,
to sympathize, and to suffer;
the first to unfold and sacrifice myself,
to become more widely human
and more nobly of the earth
than any of the world’s servants.
—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J.
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