“Do not be like them. Your father knows what you need, even before you ask him.” (Mt 6:8)
Today’s Passages: Mt 6:7-15; Is 55:10-11
Meditation: Today’s meditation passages rightly instruct us of the real way of Christian life. It is real and effective for it is given by God himself. The first reading speaks of the effectiveness of the word of God: “So is my word that goes forth out of my mouth: it will not return to me fruitless, but it will accomplish my will, and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” (Is 55:11) Therefore, let us receive this divine instruction for a different life style and put it into practice.
The idea of a separate people in a sense is not original of Christianity. It was there with the concept of the people of God; the Israel. God chose and set them apart from all other people on earth. They were given leaders to guide them and particular laws to be obeyed. This strong covenantal relationship between God and his people made Israel feel that they are different from others. However, as centuries passed, the warmth of the relationship lost its spirit and limited to its keeping of the letters of the law. So, God became man and began forming new people of Israel; Christianity.
Christian life is quite different from any other way of life. Be it any aspect of life, it has got its own specific way centered on Jesus Christ. Hence, in the second reading we find Jesus warning his disciples “Do not be like them,” (Mt 6:8) that is, like the Pharisees. For example, they had their own way of praying and fasting that did attract the attention of others (Mt 6:16-18). Sometimes, these prayers had the face of even self-righteousness (Lk 18:9-14: the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector). That means their concentration was no more on God and his will rather on themselves.
Therefore, Jesus instructs us the new Israel to regain the spirit of the law and put all our trust on God; concentrate on God and his will rather than on ourselves. He assures us, “Your father knows what you need, even before you ask him.” (Mt 6:8) Thus the prayer Jesus taught is more than a prayer; it is the summary of the way of Christian life. It guides each and every one to lead a genuine Christian life centered on the will of God the father.
This prayer rightly teaches us the meaning of the Lent and puts before us an action plan for this season. There in the prayer we find a total surrender to the will of God, hope in the promise of God’s salvation, trust in the mercy and providence of God, resolution to go reconciled with one’s brethren, keeping alert over evil and Satan etc. Actually, this is not only of the Lenten season but of the whole Christian life. Let us love praying and living this prayer, a real gift from our Lord Jesus Christ.
Prayer: Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. O God, we thank you and praise for the great prayer you taught us. It is the quintessence of Jesus’ life we rightly understand it today. Help us to live this perfect prayer in our daily life, especially in this season of Lent. We ask for this grace through Christ our Lord. Amen!
Greetings: God is with you! Wish you a blessed and fruitful Lenten Tuesday!