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Tuesday, March 6, 2001

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Isaiah 55:10-11
Psalm 34
Matthew 6:7-15

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"father, forgive them" (lk 23:34)

"If you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive you." —Matthew 6:15

The two most emphatic revelations of the prayer we call the "Our Father" are that we can completely trust God, our loving Father, and that we must forgive those who have sinned against us (for we will be forgiven as we forgive them) (Mt 6:12). These two revelations are interrelated.

When someone sins against us, we are in an impossible situation. We must forgive them, but we cannot, for "to err is human, and to forgive is divine." The only way out of this dilemma is to turn to our divine Father. He will give us the grace to forgive and thereby save ourselves from damnation. This whole experience fills us with thanksgiving for and trust in God, our Father.

If, however, we refuse to seek the Father's grace to forgive those who have sinned against us, then we will not be forgiven. Our sins will progressively warp us. We will project our pride, confusion, slavery, self-deception, and self-hatred onto God. Our Father will seem to be a monster. We will deny that He is a loving Father. We will obviously not trust Him.

What the world desperately needs is to trust God. Therefore, what the world needs is to accept the Father's gift of forgiving others. "In God we trust" — when we forgive.

Prayer:  Father, in the school of forgiveness, teach me trust.

Promise:  "So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but shall do My will, achieving the end for which I sent it." —Is 55:11

Praise:  Frances' conscience wouldn't let her hold a grudge against her sister.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Ralph J. Lawrence, August 9, 2000

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 18, 2000