Daily Reflection – Feb 16, 2016
Tuesday 16 February 2016
First Reading: Isaiah 55:10-11
From all their afflictions God will deliver the just
Psalm 33(34):4-7, 16-19
Gospel Reading: Matthew 6:7-15
Today’s Note: Tuesday of the First Week of Lent
Jesus said to his disciples:
“In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“This is how you are to pray:
Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
“If you forgive men their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”
Our Father . . . (Matthew 6:9)
Perhaps you’re having a conversation on your cell phone, and suddenly, the other person is just not there. Maybe something went wrong with their phone or with your phone. If it keeps happening, and you realize the problem’s on your end, you know it’s time to get a new phone or change your phone service. It’s frustrating to have spotty connections with people—especially important people!
Sometimes we can feel that way about our prayer life. We want to have a life-giving connection to God, but it doesn’t always seem as if he hears us—or as if we’re hearing him. What can we do about this? Maybe the answer lies in the way Jesus tells us to pray: “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name” (Matthew 6:9).
If you’re a father, you know how much you love your children. If you’re not a father, think about the love your father had for you. And if he didn’t model that kind of love, think of other fathers you knew who did. Think of how dedicated they were to their children, how affectionate they were, and how creative they were in their parenting. Now take this dedication, affection, and creativity and multiply it by one thousand. That doesn’t even begin to describe the way God our Father deals with us!
That’s something to keep in mind when you are struggling with prayer. Try to focus on the reality of your Father’s love and mercy rather than how hard you’re trying to pray. Try to imagine him sitting next to you, with his arm around your shoulder, rather than seated on a courtroom bench.
When you pray today, don’t forget who your Father is. Try to let go of your worries and fears. Quiet your mind and heart, and just sit with him. Before you tell him your needs, thank him for his love, and praise him for his grace—in your own words. And if you’re at a loss for words, just read today’s responsorial psalm out loud, slowly and carefully. Let your Father, who is “close to the brokenhearted,” lift you up with his love (Psalm 34:19).
“Heavenly Father, thank you for the privilege of talking to you! Thank you for the great gift of prayer. Help me to grow in my knowledge and love of you.”