40 Shades of Lent by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II Tuesday in the Third Week of Lent, 14 March 2023 Daniel 3:25, 34-43 >>> + <<< Matthew 18:21-35
God our Father, grant me the grace of sincerity to pray like Azariah whom you spared from death along with Shadrach and Meschach in the fiery furnace of King Nebuchadnezzar; not even their clothes were singed by the intense heat that burned to death their executioners! Teach me to be sincere like Azariah who prayed to you while walking into the furnace with his companions, telling you one of the most beautiful prayers in the Bible we too pray in our Sunday Lauds:
“For we are reduced, O Lord, beyond any other nation, brought low everywhere in the world this day because of our sins. We have in our day no prince, no prophets, or leader, no burnt offering, sacrifice, oblation, or incense, no place to offer first fruits, to find favor with you. But with contrite heart and humble spirit let us be received. Do not let us be put to shame, but deal with us in your kindness and great mercy. Deliver us by your wonders, and bring glory to your name, O Lord.”Daniel 3:37-39, 42-43
Yes, dear God, there is no need, not even necessary, for us to do anything "to win your favor" to grant our prayers except that we be sincere before you, that is, to be true and humble, putting ourselves into your hands completely that you would take care of us like Azariah and companions.
Many times, O God, we can't be like you and be forgiving as a Father to those who have wronged us because we ourselves are not true, lacking sincerity in begging your mercy and forgiveness; many times we doubt your mercy and forgiveness that often we act like the unforgiving servant in Jesus Christ's parable. Amen.