Tuesday of the First Week of Lent

(Mt 6, 7-15)

Jesus said to his disciples:
“In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This is how you are to 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.
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 evil.

“If you forgive men their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive men,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

Forgive Your Enemy

Becoming holy is following the way of Christ, the way of the Cross. We become holy when we pray like Jesus and act like Jesus.

There is a very beautiful story about the “Our Father”. During the communist reign in Russia under Stalin, a communist Russian-Jew, Dr. Boris Kornfeld, a surgeon, became one of the many political prisoner in Siberia. White in the prison camp a Christian prisoner taught him “The Our Father”. Boris was not a Christian; but he found the prayer attractive and consoling, so he begun to pray it.

One day, a guard featured in a knifing incident. An artery had been cut. Dr. Kornfeld was orderd to save the guard. White suturing the blood vessed, he thought of tying the thread in such a way that is would reopen shortly after surgery. The guard would die quickly and no one woould suspect anything. But just as he was about to do the evil he had contemplaced, he rememberd the “Our Father” he had been praying. He paused. He prayed. He resisted the temptation. As he completed the surgery he prayed:” Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation.”

Dr. Kornfeld , later die in prison a victim of the atrocities of the Gulag prison camp, but no before converting to Christianity and telling his story to his last patient in the Gulag, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, author of “One day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.”

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