“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Matthew 6:13

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TODAY’S WORD…

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Jesus concluded the prayer to the Father,

“…and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from all evil.”

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– Matthew 6:13

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REFLECTION…

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Lead us not into temptation.

We do not ask to be totally exempt from temptation,

because human life is one continuous temptation.
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In this verse of the "Our Father"

we recognise that our human efforts alone

do not take us very far in trying to cope with temptation,

and that we need to have humble recourse to God,

to get the strength we need to overcome.

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St. John of Avila tells us:

"God is strong enough to free you from everything

and can do you more good than all the devils can do you harm.

All that God decrees is that you confide in Him, that you draw near Him,

that you trust Him and distrust yourself, and so be helped;

and with this help you will defeat whatever hell brings against you.

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Never lose hold of this firm hope […]

even if the demons are legion and all kinds of severe temptations harass you.

Lean upon Him, because if the Lord is not your support and your strength,

then you will fall and you will be afraid of everything."

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Deliver us from evil.

This phrase can be paraphrased as "Deliver us from the evil one",

that is to say, the devil,

who is in the last analysis the author of all evils to which we are prone.
We must always seek the Lord help

to free us from everything that our “enemy” does to bring us down.

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We cannot be free of the evil one,

unless God Himself frees us, in response to our prayers.

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PRAYER…

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Lord Jesus, thank You for having taught us a prayer

which is so perfect

that it helps me abandon myself humbly to the Almighty Father

and sums up everything I truly need to ask Him for.

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Thank you for a prayer

which also teaches me how to praise the Father,

and which fills me with great hope and consolation.

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Thank You Father in Heaven, for loving me so much.

I am determined to love You back in return.

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Amen.

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Matthew 6:12

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TODAY’S WORD…

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Jesus’ prayer lesson continued,

“Forgive us our sins,

as we have forgiven those who sin against us…”

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– Matthew 6:12.

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REFLECTION…

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Crucially, Jesus words make it very clear,

that as we ask the Father to forgive us our sins,

we are also declaring to Him

that we already have forgiven those who sin against us.

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As a Christian, I need to realise what this prayer implies:

if I am unwilling to forgive others,

I cannot expect God to forgive me.

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When Peter asked Jesus,

"Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?

As many as seven times?"

Jesus said to him,

"I do not say to you seven times,

but seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21-22)

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Jesus’ reply,

prescribes the spirit of understanding and mercy

which should govern a Christian’s behaviour.

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In Hebrew,

the figure of seventy times seven means the same as "always".

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Isn’t Peter so representative of us when he asks this question?

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Here we can see the contrast

between man’s ungenerous and calculating approach to forgiveness,

and God’s infinite mercy.

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If we truly love God,

then, like Him, we will always forgive others,

and we will do so wholeheartedly.

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QUOTE…

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“Our Lord did not limit forgiveness to a fixed number,

but declared that it must be continuous and forever"

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– St. John Chrysostom

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"Force yourself, if necessary, always to forgive those who offend you,

from the very first moment.

For the greatest injury or offense that you can suffer from them

is nothing compared to what God has pardoned you."

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– St. Josemaria Escriva

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PRAYER…

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Lord Jesus, make me more like You, make me all-forgiving,

that I too may be forgiven by You.

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Matthew 6:12a

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TODAY’S WORD…

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Jesus continued teaching on how to pray,

“…forgive us our sins …”

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– Matthew 6:12a

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REFLECTION…

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In this part of the prayer

we admit that we are sinners.

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The Old Testament is full of references to man’s sinful condition.

Even the “righteous” are sinners.

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In the New Testament,

the forgiveness of sins is the central teaching of the Gospels.

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Jesus said:

“This is what is written:

The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,

and repentance for the forgiveness of sins

will be preached in His name to all nations…” (Luke 24:46-47)

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Recognising our sins

is the first step in every conversion to God.

It is not a question of recognising that we have sinned in the past

but of confessing our present sinful condition.

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Awareness of our sinfulness

makes us realise a deep spiritual need

to have recourse to the only One who can cure it.
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This is the advantage of praying insistently,

and of using the Lord’s Prayer to obtain God’s forgiveness time and again.

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PRAYER…

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Father God,

forgive me my trespasses;

my sins;

my accumulated debts to You.

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Lord, I am sorry

and I beg pardon for my sins.

I detest them above all things

because they offend You, my God,

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Holy Spirit, come and strengthen my resolve

to live my life in the manner that Jesus taught me how.

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For this I pray in Jesus’ Holy Name. Amen.

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Matthew 6:11

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TODAY’S WORD…

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Jesus continued teaching on how to pray,

“Give us this day our daily bread…”

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– Matthew 6:11

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REFLECTION…

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Give us this day our daily bread.

This is a petition

relating primarily to our needs in this present life.

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The significance of this petition in the prayer taught by our Lord Jesus,

is that it becomes a declaration – our declaration –

stating that the material things we truly need in our lives are those that are good and lawful.

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What, as Christians, we obtain through our daily labour,

which is also what we daily implore God for,

we should then receive gratefully as a gift from Him.

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By asking God to support us, by believing and trusting in Him,

as well as by acknowledging that it is He who provides this support,

we needn’t be concerned about our material needs.

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Jesus does not want us to pray for wealth

or to be attached to material things.

Jesus wants us to seek and make Christian, responsible use

of what comes through our work and Divine Providence and meets our needs.

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PRAYER…

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Heavenly Father,

You know my needs – my real needs –

and you know the needs of my loved ones.

Lord, give us this day our daily bread

that we may live in accordance to Your will,

and let us be satisfied and thankful.

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Lord, help me in my work,

that I may be productive

and earn my living fairly and honestly.

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Thank You Lord, for all that You provide.

Thank You.

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Amen.

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Matthew 6:9-10

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TODAY’S WORD…

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Jesus said to the crowd,

“This, then, is how you should 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…’”

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– Matthew 6:9-10

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REFLECTION…

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Jesus, the Son of God,

teaches us to invoke God as Our Father…in Heaven

because we are indeed His children,

and our feelings towards Him should reflect this wonderful relationship..

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Hallowed by Thy name.

Why pray that His name be hallowed and sanctified?

Because God, who is Holiness Itself,

is sanctified when His holiness is acknowledged and honoured by His creatures

– by us.

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Thy Kingdom come.

The coming of the Kingdom of God

is the realisation of God’s plan of salvation in the world.

The Kingdom establishes itself in the first place in the core of man’s being,

raising us up to share in God’s own inner life

– in this life, through grace,

and in eternal life, where man’s elevation to the supernatural level is fully completed.

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Thy will be done…

This expresses two desires:

that we identify humbly and unconditionally with God’s will,

abandoning ourselves in the arms of the Father;

and that the will of God be fulfilled as we cooperate with it in full freedom.

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…on earth as it is in Heaven.

means that,

just as the angels and saints in Heaven are fully at one with God’s will,

so we too desire and pray to be at one with God’s will on earth.

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PRAYER…

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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 all evil.

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Amen.

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – Ephesians 1:18-19a

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TODAY’S WORD…

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I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened

in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you,

the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people,

and His incomparably great power for us who believe…

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– Ephesians 1:18-19a (NIV)

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REFLECTION…

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St. Paul, who is the author of these verses,

prays to God and asks that the eyes of our heart be opened

for us to gladly receive a deeper knowledge of Him,

and that we are granted a fuller and livelier hope

– because God and hope are inseparable.

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St. Paul asks for hope to shine more brightly for us who embrace our Christian faith

and prays for the enlightenment of our minds

that we may realise what it truly means to be good and worthy Christians

and to strive to love others in the manner that Jesus taught us.

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Hope is grounded in God’s love and power,

that same power which is instilled in us through our faith

as we contemplate upon God’s eternal plan for our salvation.

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PRAYER…

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Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, I want to see You, to love You, to be like You, to be one with You!

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“a Lamp to my feet. a Light for my path.” – 2 Corinthians 8:9

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TODAY’S WORD…

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Remember how generous the Lord Jesus was:

He was rich, but He became poor for your sake,

to make you rich out of His poverty.

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– 2 Corinthians 8:9

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REFLECTION…

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Our Lord, in His Incarnation and throughout His life,

gave us a wonderful example of generosity and detachment.

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Our Lord, because He is God, was in need of nothing;

but by becoming man

He voluntarily despoiled Himself of the splendour of His divinity

and lived on earth as a poor man

– from His birth in poverty in Bethlehem to His death on the cross.

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PRAYER…

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My Lord, my King, teach me

how to be generous, like You,

in my love for others.

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Teach me Lord,

how to put love for You and for others

above all else.

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Teach me

how to not let possessiveness and greed

obscure the path You have laid out for me.

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Teach me

how to joyfully leave it all in your Hands,

that Your will be done.

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Amen.

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