Daily Reflection for Wednesday, October 06, 2021
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Wednesday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: Jonah 4: 1-11
Responsorial: Psalm 86: 3-4, 5-6, 9-10
Gospel: Luke 11:1-4
Our reflection on Wednesday’s readings:
… forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us. Luke 11:4a
This greatly displeased Jonah and he became angry. Jonah 4:1
In the Gospel for today, the disciples witness Jesus praying and ask Him to teach them how to pray. Jesus gives them the blueprint for praying, now known as The Lord’s Prayer. This prayer is so central to our faith that it is part of the Mass, situated right before receiving the Eucharist. The Lord’s Prayer, if understood can help us prepare for receiving Jesus and help us prepare and participate as a Christian in our daily lives.
The part of the Lord’s prayer that I would be reflecting on became apparent as I read the story about the prophet Jonah. Jonah’s evangelization efforts, which he tried to avoid doing, were more successful than he desired. The entire town, from King to cattle, repented of their sins, which made Jonah angry. He stomped off, hoping to see God punish these people, who were known for their cruelty and idolatry. God did not punish them but rather forgave them. Jonah was so exasperated that he wanted to die.
As I read the Gospel again, I saw the words that have been a part of many conversations with Abba, “Our Father.” The petition “forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,” commonly recited in Mass as “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,” jumped off the page. Jonah was busy concentrating on the sins of the Ninevites, rather than his own sins and the universality of God being the creator of all. This story is a practical lesson in learning to forgive and love others.
In a lecture Scott Hahn advised, “We shouldn’t withhold forgiveness from others. Jesus died to forgive us.” “When we don’t forgive, we short-circuit God’s mercy.” God is Our Father. We are His beloved children, all of us. Jesus didn’t hold back His love. He gave his whole life and died for all. His mercy is for all people. So, in reciting the Lord’s Prayer before receiving Jesus, perhaps we can trust God’s mercy and concentrate on what leads US to sin, rather than what leads someone else to sin.
Blessings for the journey!