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Forgive Us Our Trespasses

First Reading: Isaiah 55:10-11

Thus says the LORD:
Just as from the heavens
the rain and snow come down
And do not return there
till they have watered the earth,
making it fertile and fruitful,
Giving seed to the one who sows
and bread to the one who eats,
So shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
It shall not return to me void,
but shall do my will,
achieving the end for which I sent it.

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

R. (18b) From all their distress God rescues the just.
Glorify the LORD with me,
let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy,
and your faces may not blush with shame.
When the poor one called out, the LORD heard,
and from all his distress he saved him.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.
The LORD has eyes for the just,
and ears for their cry.
The LORD confronts the evildoers,
to destroy remembrance of them from the earth.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.
When the just cry out, the LORD hears them,
and from all their distress he rescues them.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
and those who are crushed in spirit he saves.
R. From all their distress God rescues the just.

Gospel: Matthew 6:7-15

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.”

NAB

feb 16

I pray the rosary every single day. I’m not trying to be pious, or tick off a box. I like to pray it. Without fail, I am always caught with a lump in my throat when I say the Our Father. It’s not because it was the only prayer I knew for decades, or because it is how Jesus asks us to pray, or even because I find it humbling to pray it with other brothers and sisters in Christ at Mass. No, I am moved because because of this part, right here:

and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;

It’s not lost on me that this reading was given to me to reflect on. I struggle with forgiveness. It’s easy to forgive small children; it’s easier to forgive the stranger that cuts me off as I leave the supermarket parking lot. Forgiving my husband for being human and snapping after a long, daily two-hour commute—that get’s a little harder.

The one I struggle to forgive is myself. For all the snap judgments, words I never should have spoken but did out of anger, for those times I wasn’t the best version of myself as a mother, daughter, friend.

As I pray the Our Father, I glaze over during the part of forgiveness and try not to look it in the face, because I know forgiveness is something that I just don’t know if I get right.

What step, however small, can you take today to forgive yourself? That could look like the start of a gratitude journal, or something as simple as writing one great thing that happened daily, and placing it in a jar. Whatever forgiving yourself looks like to you, know that your Father in heaven loves you.

photo credit

Cristina Trinidad is a married, stay-at-home mother of two children. She recently opened an Etsy shop named after Luke 1:38, where she offers inspirational and faith-based hand embroidered designs. You can visit her shop and find out more about her here

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