Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Meet Our Father in The Lord's Prayer

Hello all :)
How was your weekend?
Sorry I've been missing for the past few days.
Today's readings are interesting and I managed to find scripture reflection to help us understand what the readings are about.

1st reading is from Isaiah 55: 10-11:
My word is like the snow and the rain
that come down from the sky to water the earth.
They make the crops grow and provide seed for sowing and food to eat.
So also will be the word that I speak -
it will not fail to do what I plan for it;
it will do everything I send it to do.

Psalm 34: 4-7, 16-19 :
I prayed to the Lord, and He answered me;
He freed me from all my fears.
The oppressed look to Him and are glad;
They will never be disappointed.

The helpless will call to him, and he answers;
He saves them from all their troubles.
His angel guards those who honour the Lord and rescues them from danger.

But He opposes those who do evil,
so that when they die, they are soon forgotten.
The righteous call to the Lord, and He listens;
He rescues them from all their troubles.
The Lord is near to those who are discouraged;
He saves those who have lost all hope.

Good people suffers many troubles,
but the Lord saves them from them all.

Matthew 6: 7-15 :
When you pray, do not be use a lot of meaningless words, as the pagans do, who think that their gods will hear them because their prayers are long. Do not be like them. Your Father already knows what you need before you ask Him. This, then, is how you should pray :

"Our Father in heaven:
May Your holy name be honoured;
may Your Kingdom come;
may Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need.
Forgive us the wrongs we have done,
as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.
Do not bring us to hard testing,
but keep us safe from the Evil One"

If you forgive others the wrongs they have done to you, your Father in heaven will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive the wrongs you have done.

Scripture Reflection :

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus is showing us how intimately our Father loves us. In today’s first reading, we see our Father reminding us that whatever he has promised to do for us (promised in his Word), he will indeed do for us. Why do we doubt this?

Doubt comes from incomplete information: We received our first images of what God the Father is like from our human fathers and other authority figures (including mothers). Since even the best of parents imitated God imperfectly and loved us insufficiently, our knowledge of God the Father's love is insufficient.

When we pray the "Our Father" prayer – if we really pay attention to the words, praying from our hearts instead of rattling off the words like babbling pagans – we open ourselves to his complete love. Each part of this prayer, which Jesus learned from his own experiences with the Father, is a prescription for an intimate relationship with our heavenly Daddy.

As a spiritual exercise for Lent, pray the "Our Father" slowly, line by line, reflecting on how each part connects you to the love of the Papa who loves you perfectly and completely and unconditionally.

At the end of this Gospel reading, Jesus offers us the key that unlocks the power of our Father's love. It's no accident that he gives additional instruction for only one part of the prayer: "If you forgive the faults of others, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours." Unforgiveness closes our hearts to love. When the door is shut, we're not open to receive love, not even our perfect Father's love.

This is why Jesus told us to pray to our Father instead of to my Father or to the Father. We're all in this together. Our Father is Jesus' Father. It's a community prayer. When we pray it by ourselves, Jesus is our prayer partner.

When we pray it in church, we're united to all of God's children. How can we love God while refusing to love someone for whom he cares deeply? The more willing we are to love others – including those who are most difficult to love – the more we open ourselves to the love of our Father.

* * * *
It's a big challenge for us when it come to "love" and "forgive" those whom we don't really like. I know most of us has issues with each other. I myself also always find it hard to really forget and forgive. The best I can do is to not pay attention to the people or person that I don't like or has hurt my feelings before.

Sometimes, when I pray, I do try to pray for them and also for myself; that I will find it in my heart to really forgive and forget. Tapi, mengikut ayat famous yang selalu diutarakan apabila hendak mengelak sesuatu... "sebagai manusia biasa"... it's hard.

One minute, I'll be okay. But when the person starts to annoy me, the hatred will come back. It means, I never did really forgive that person.

And bila pray, especially in church, when we're about to receive Him, we always say the Act of Contrition. Penyesalan dan memohon maaf untuk dosa-dosa atau kesilapan yang kita lakukan. Pernah tak terfikir, when we ask for His forgiveness atas kesalahan atau dosa-dosa yang kita buat, He will, without any reasonable doubt (ayat peguam okay), will forgive us.

Forgive. Forgotten.

When we ask for His mercy, for His forgiveness... kadang-kadang sampai menangis. We really want to have a good relationship with Him. To be in good condition with Him. To feel His love and to share love.

But why is it so hard, for us to do the same among us?

I know, easier said than done.

But if we really try and let go of the hatred, and learn to forgive more maybe one day, that feeling will go away for good. Why don't we start today.

Start by saying The Lord's prayer slowly, reflecting on each line and feel His love.
And then try to give or show that love, especially to the person you least like.

Have a blessed day :)

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