Do not let us be put to shame.

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

 
May your grace not forsake us, O Lord, we pray,
but make us dedicated to your holy service
and at all times obtain for us your help.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. 

Today's Reading

Daily Meditation: 

Do not let us be put to shame,
but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy.

Azariah asks God to remember his mercies. 
He places his complete trust in God.
These days, we place our lives in God's hands,
and we let God forgive us.

The challenge of the Gospel is to forgive
as we have been forgiven.
How often we are so very much harder on others
than our God is on us!
An important Lenten examination of conscience.

"So will my heavenly Father do to you,
unless each of you forgives your brother from your heart."

 

Intercessions: 

Praise to Christ, who has given us himself as the bread from heaven. Let us pray to him, saying: 
   Jesus, you feed and heal our souls; come to strengthen us. 

Lord, feed us at the banquet of the Eucharist, 
 - with all the gifts of your paschal sacrifice. 

Give us a perfect heart to receive your word, 
 - that we may bring forth fruit in patience.

Make us eager to work with you in building a better world, 
 - so that it may listen to your Church and its gospel of peace.

We confess, Lord, that we have sinned, 
 - wash us clean by your gift of salvation.

Closing Prayer: 

Merciful God, 
Free your Church from the sins of this world 
and protect us from evil we see 
and the evil we prefer to ignore. 
We need your guidance, Lord 
for we cannot do this alone. 
Only with your help can we be saved. 
Thank you for your desire to save us and love us. 

May the Lord bless us, 
protect us from all evil 
and bring us to everlasting life. 
Amen.

Daily Reflection
Of Creighton University's Online Ministries

After my first read of today’s gospel in Mathew, my initial response to Peter’s question was with regards to my own life situations. In other words, I asked myself, “How often do I forgive others?” I suspect this was a natural response. But, after further reflection, my thoughts turned from forgiveness of others to forgiveness of self. Could the spirit of Peter’s question be thought about in a different way? Could his question be modified to say, “Lord, if I sin, how often must I forgive myself?” Part of the human experience includes times when we frustrate our better selves. In these moments, do we recognize our humanity and not only ask others and God for forgiveness, but ask it of ourselves, too?

A related scenario to consider is this. Last semester in one of the courses that I was teaching at Creighton, I was grading papers from students who were asked to write a reflection on their own well-being. A common theme arose as I made my way through the papers, and that was one of personal forgiveness. From the outside, these students appeared to have life by the tail. They were smart, socio-economically well positioned, and receiving a quality education. However, many were struggling with well-being. Most of their struggles appeared to be related to their feelings of inadequately performing in all aspects of life based on unrealistic social perceptions. Fortunately, the theme of that particular course was personal well-being and these students had plenty of time throughout the semester to explore their feelings related to this. But, within a society that promotes individualism and rewards itself based on perceived status, a bigger issue becomes more clear. Do we have perceived expectations of ourselves that are difficult, if not impossible, to achieve? And, if we fall short of these expectations, are we able to forgive ourselves? Perhaps Peter’s question could be modified even further to ask, “Lord, if I perceive myself as something less than what I expect myself to be, how often must I forgive myself?” The answer from the Lord is likely the same, “seventy-seven times” (or more).

by Tom Lenz
Creighton University's Department Pharmacy Practice
click here for photo and information about the writer

 
Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager
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