Wednesday, October 8 ~ Twenty-Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Holy Gospel: Luke 11:1-4 Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your Kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.”
Meditation: Jesus teaches us to address God as “our Father” and to confidently ask him for the things we need to live as his sons and daughters. We can approach God our Father with confidence and boldness because Jesus Christ has opened the way to heaven for us through his death and resurrection. When we ask God for help, he fortunately does not give us what we deserve. Instead, he responds with grace and mercy. He is kind and forgiving towards us and he expects us to treat our neighbor the same. We can pray with expectant faith because our heavenly Father truly loves each one of us and he treats us as his beloved children. He delights to give us what is good. His love and grace transforms us and makes us like himself. Through his grace and power we can love and serve one another as Jesus taught — with grace, mercy, and loving-kindness.
Prayer: Almighty ever-living God, who in the abundance of your kindness surpass the merits and the desires of those who entreat you, pour out your mercy upon us to pardon what conscience dreads and to give what prayer does not dare to ask. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplation: When Jesus taught his disciples to pray he gave them the disciple’s prayer, what we call the Our Father or Lord’s Prayer. What does Jesus’ prayer tell us about God and about ourselves? First, it tells us that God is both Father in being the Creator and Author of all that he has made, the first origin of everything and transcendent authority, and he is eternally Father by his relationship to his only Son who, reciprocally is Son only in relation to his Father (ref. Matthew 11:27). All fatherhood and motherhood is derived from him (ref. Ephesians 3:14-15). In Jesus Christ we are reborn and become the adopted children of God (ref. John 1:12-13; 3:3). Do you treat others as they deserve, or do you treat them as the Lord would with grace and mercy? Jesus’ prayer includes an injunction that we must ask God to forgive us in proportion as we forgive those who have wronged us. God’s grace frees us from every form of anger, spite, resentment, and hatred. Are you ready to forgive others just as Jesus forgives you?