16 February – Tuesday of the 1st week of Lent
Thus says the Lord: ‘As the rain and the snow come down from the heavens and do not return without watering the earth, making it yield and giving growth to provide seed for the sower and bread for the eating, so the word that goes from my mouth does not return to me empty, without carrying out my will and succeeding in what it was sent to do.’
Jesus said to his disciples, ‘In your prayers do not babble as the pagans do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard. Do not be like them; your Father knows what you need before you ask him. So you should pray like this:
‘Our Father in heaven,
may your name be held holy,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us.
And do not put us to the test,
but save us from the evil one.
‘Yes, if you forgive others their failings, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours; but if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failings either.’
“O Lord, You have been our refuge…”
I remember, as a 7-year-old non-Catholic boy, learning the Lord’s Prayer in school all those years ago. The words were strange to me and I had no inkling as to what the words meant. To me, they were just words one had to recite daily at the school morning prayer session.
Fast forward some 40-odd years and I continue to pray the same words. Over time, the simple words have taken on so much more meaning than I could ever have imagined.
The words now speak of the immense love that God has for me. In my growing years, I had, on many occasions, unknowingly seen God as a god who was content to stand apart, an authority figure that remained aloof, waiting to pounce and jump on my iniquities and faults. I saw him as someone who was uncaring, and unloving.
And yet, as soon as we begin to pray and reflect on the first line, we are reminded that our God is a God who is intimate with us, our Father in Heaven who watches over us, caring for us. Over the course of the 7 petitions within the prayer, we learn how involved God is in our lives, providing for us and being with us daily. We learn of his infinite mercy and love for us.
Brothers and sisters, let us remember that our God is a God who wants to be closely intimate with us. He wants us to turn to Him continually; to just simply reach out to him in all circumstances.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Paul Wee)
Prayer: Father God, we pray that we may always reach out to you in prayer and to always know that You are there with us. Help us to continue to grow strongly in Your love and to always strive to experience Your presence in our lives, in whatever circumstances we may be going through.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord for giving us love that is true and steadfast. Thank you for your blessings in whatever circumstances we may face in our lives.