By Susan Klemond
“Forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive every one who is indebted to us.” ~ Luke 11:4
A song that’s made the Lord’s Prayer come alive for me as I write this may not be getting as much radio play by the time this post comes out, but a couple of lines from it, Matt Maher’s “The Lord’s Prayer (It’s Yours),” will stay in my head for a long time:
Give us this day our daily bread; forgive us, forgive us.
As we forgive the ones who sin against us, forgive them.
Of course, we know these words about forgiveness well, paraphrased from today’s Gospel. But sometimes, God draws my attention to things in scripture I’ve previously passed over, like how important it is to forgive others.
Need for God’s grace to forgive
Forgiving as God forgives seems almost impossible without the “daily bread” of his grace.
Even when I pray for people who hurt or frustrate me, it doesn’t take long before I’m back to resenting them. Maybe it’s easier for others to stay in forgiveness mode, but I struggle to continuously pray for blessings for my enemies and not be angry with them.
We need Our Lord’s superhuman strength to truly forgive. He forgave the worst “trespass”—his own murder—as he died on the cross. And he is always ready to forgive our sins.
Drawing on Jesus’ power of forgiveness
His forgiveness was and is superhuman; if we ask him, he will bring his divine power into our human effort.
Christ taught us to pray the Lord’s Prayer to be confident that the Father will answer our petitions in his time. Not only will he show us how to forgive, but His kingdom will come, he will give us our daily bread, and he will not bring us to the time of trial.
Lord Jesus, we know we need your strength to forgive those who hurt us. Show us by your example how to do it and give us strength to persevere when it’s difficult.
Call to Action
After going to confession, consider how God has forgiven you and thank him. While you’re thinking about God’s forgiveness, pray for those who have sinned against you.
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