Here we get Jesus teaching His listeners the familiar version of the Our Father (Mt 6:7-15) during the Sermon on the Mount (the shorter version is found at Lk 11:1-4). I endeavor to never fail to mention that it is only the most difficult of the seven petitions of the Lord’s Prayer that Christ reinforces after reciting the prayer:
If you forgive men their transgressions,vv. 14-15
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.
It is as if Our Savior realizes that we need to hear it again and He wants to confirm in no uncertain terms that He is serious about it’s importance. Like the unforgivable sin against the Holy Spirit (Mk 3:28-29), that is usually defined as believing our own sins are unforgivable by God, this passage also gives us a path to hell if we do not heed it. It reminds me of another passage a little further along in the same sermon that should make one’s blood run cold:
Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.Mt 7:13-14
Few words are more challenging in the Gospel than the two excerpts above. I will be working an entire lifetime (and beyond, God willing) to get this right.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS
I am a big fan of Bp. Robert Barron and his Word on Fire ministry. In this video from 2019 he spends about an hour meditating on the Stations of the Cross. Sixty minutes worth spending (over and over) this Lent.
PAROUSIA: THE BIBLE AND THE MASS
Dr. Scott Hahn himself hosts this series. I remember presenting this to my parish years ago as a PowerPoint with handouts. The St. Paul Center has come along very nicely and I am pleased to be a proud supporter of its work.
Be sure to jump on this free offering soon, episodes are only available gratis for a short time.
MORE ON VACCINES
I find this topic of great importance. The ultimate Catholic coronavirus vaccine morality explainer is a thorough treatment of the matter with a brief overview and then Q&A. A must read.
I am sympathetic to the case Phil Lawler lays out in Why I won’t take a job at the Vatican for not taking the vaccine. He brings up many points worth considering
BLACK SAINTS TO BE — UPCOMING TALK
I hope you will consider joining us for “Black Catholics on the Road to Sainthood” presented by Katrenia Reeves-Jackman who heads Black Catholic Ministry for the Miami Archdiocese. It is happening this Thursday evening at 7:00pm via Zoom so sign up here now!
I just finished a little book on this subject with the same name as the talk. I encourage you to check it out.