Most of us have seen those advertisements or billboards which announce some bumper offer or sale.
>> Winter Sale on branded clothing: Up to 50% off!*
>> Buy a new house, at just Rs 1000!*
>> Buy one pizza, get one free!*
But, a point to be noted is that most of these advertisements of offers and goodies also have a “tiny asterisk – * ” sign next to it.
What does the * refer to?
>> It has a catch in it…. Terms and Conditions Apply!
The offer is valid, only on the basis of some conditions.
>> The sale is applicable, only on the agreement of some special terms.
Well, the Gospel of the Day is the prayer of the Our Father.
>> And one of the ‘offer’ that is mentioned in the Our Father is that of Forgiveness.
However, this offer of Forgiveness has an “asterisk *” sign attached to it…
Yes… Terms and Conditions apply!
What is the offer?
>> The Forgiveness from God!
And what is the condition applied to receive this offer of forgiveness?
>> We, first need to forgive others!
The Gospel of the Day is part of the Sermons on the mount in the Gospel of St Matthew.
Jesus is presenting His teaching on various Christian themes.
In His teaching on prayer, Jesus teaches the beautiful prayer – The Our Father.
The Our Father has seven petitions:
1. Hallowed be thy name
2. Thy Kingdom come
3. Thy Will be done
4. Give us today our daily bread
5. Forgive us our sins
6. Lead us not into temptation
7. Deliver us from evil.
The fifth petition – for forgiveness – is also accompanied with a clause – “…as we forgive”..
“…and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors” (Mt 6:12)
… forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us!
… forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us!
Well, does this mean God’s forgiveness is conditional?
>> Certainly NO!
It needs to be understood, that God, in His infinite mercy and goodness, has always the store of forgiveness, unconditionally opened for us!
But to receive this treasure of forgiveness, we need to first forgive others!
To receive this grace of pardon, we need to first pardon others!
God’s Mercy and Forgiveness is unconditional…
… but our reception of the same, is conditional!
It means that…
If we harbour a wrong against other…
If we continue to nurture hatred against other…
If we wilfully fail to extend absolution to the other…
If we adamantly keep having repulsion against the other…
..then we are telling God to not forgive me either!
…then we are telling God to not shower His blessing on me!
…then we are telling God to withhold His unconditional mercy on me!
….then we are telling God to stop extending His unconditional compassion!
The prayer – “Our Father” is indeed one of the most easily learnt and widely used prayers.
>> But this clause of the prayer, which is often overlooked, also makes this prayer dangerous!
This clause of the prayer, which is often not thought of, also makes this prayer challenging!
>> Let the prayer ‘Our Father’ make us to make inroads into forgiving others!
>> Let the prayer ‘Our Father’ make us to march forward into extending pardon to others!
Let this beautiful prayer, also become a really meaningful one!
Are we ready, to take this “Offer”?
God Bless! Live Jesus!