Daily Bible Reading - February 20, 2024

Daily Bible Reading - February 20, 2024
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Claretian Communications Foundation, Inc.

1ST WEEK OF LENT

Psalter: Week 1 (Violet)

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 34: 4-5, 6-7, 16-17, 18-19

From all their distress God rescues the just.

1st Reading: Isaiah 55: 10-11

As the rain and the snow come down from the heavens and do not return till they have watered the earth, making it yield seed for the sower and food for others to eat, so is my word that goes forth out of my mouth: it will not return to me idle, but it shall accomplish my will, the purpose for which it has been sent.

Gospel: Matthew 6: 7-15

When you pray, do not use a lot of words, as the pagans do; for they believe that, the more they say, the more chance they have of being heard. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need, even before you ask him.

This, then, is how you should pray:

Our Father in heaven,

holy be your name,

your kingdom, come,

your will, be done on earth, as in heaven.

Give us today, our daily bread.

Forgive us our debts,

as we forgive those who are in debt to us.

Do not bring us to the test,

but deliver us from the evil one.

If you forgive others their wrongdoings, your Father in heaven will also forgive yours.

If you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive you.

REFLECTION:

“Forgiveness is a divine attribute.”

Today’s Gospel passage tells of the famous prayer taught to us by Jesus, the “Our Father.” After the prayer, Jesus emphasized the value of forgiveness, stressing the condition as to how we shall receive forgiveness from our heavenly Father – only when we are able to forgive those who have wronged us. Structurally, the Matthean version of the “Our Father” appears to have the submission of our will to the divine will (cf. “Thy will be done” in v. 10) at the center.

The Lucan version of the same prayer does not have it (cf. Lk. 11:2-5). We can only truly forgive someone after submitting our will to God’s will. By our own will, we cannot forgive. Forgiveness is something bigger than our hurt ego. It is divine.

Our hurt ego tends to desire vengeance. As Christians, forgiveness is one of our ways to concretize the prayer, “Thy will be done.”

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