the key to the treasure chest
"Forgive us the wrong we have done as we forgive those who wrong us." —Matthew 6:12
When Jesus taught us the "Our Father," He was trying to teach us to pray (Mt 6:9), to trust in our Abba, and to seek first His kingdom (Mt 6:33). Jesus was not that successful using the "Our Father" to teach us, for most of us don't pray very frequently or fervently. Moreover, many Christians are anxious, fearful, and jealous, as if they couldn't trust their Abba (see Mt 6:31-32). Also, we see more people seeking the things of the world's kingdom than seeking first God's kingdom. For many Christians, the "Our Father" is a locked treasure chest. We carry it around, display, touch and shake it, but don't open it and receive its treasures.
Jesus put the key to the "Our Father" right next to the "Our Father" in the Bible. The five verses of the "Our Father" are followed by a two verse explanation of the command in the "Our Father" to forgive (Mt 6:14-15). When we forgive, we can learn to pray (see Mk 11:25). When we forgive, we remove an obstacle to receiving our Abba's love. Seeking first God's kingdom is also a matter of forgiveness (Mt 18:23ff). Forgiveness is the key to the "Our Father." Turn the key.
Prayer: "Father, forgive" (Lk 23:34).
Promise: "You are destined, it is written, in time to come to put an end to wrath before the day of the Lord, to turn back the hearts of fathers toward their sons, and to reestablish the tribes of Jacob." —Sir 48:10
Praise: St. Romuald gave his life to Jesus as a sacrifice offered on behalf of his father, who had committed a murder.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape on Praying the Our Father on audio AV 67-3 or video V-67.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 4, 2008
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