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The Our Father

The gospel reading for tomorrow (Thursday, 6/17/10) is Matthew’s telling of Jesus teaching his disciples the prayer we have come to call The Our Father or The Lord’s Prayer.  We say the words of The Lord’s Prayer often.  We say it every time we celebrate Mass.  It is said several times when we pray the Rosary.  We can say it at any time when we are at a loss as what to say to God.

Note that in each of these cases I said we can “say” The Lord’s Prayer.  However, it is not enough just to say it.  We need to pray it.  We need to mean it when we say it.  Here are the words and some thoughts to help you think about what it means to you.

Our Father who art in heaven,

God dwells in heaven.  In heaven, we will know the fullness of God’s presence.  What does that mean for you?

hallowed be thy name,

God’s name is indeed great.  Great because of all that he has done for us.  Do we proclaim the good things that God has done for  us, so that his name may be known and hallowed by every single person on Earth?  Do we live according to God’s will to show that God is truly great and hallowed?

thy Kingdom come,

Jesus came to make God’s kingdom known in a new way.  We will not know the fullness of the kingdom until the Resurrection but we are called to help make the kingdom “present” here on Earth.  What can you do to help make God’s kingdom known here on Earth?  What can you do to make God’s love known?  What can you do to help make the world a better place in accord with God’s plan?

thy will be done,

God knows what is best.  If we follow God’s will we show that we trust and believe in his will.  When we try to live our way, we seem to think we know better than God.  Do you trust in God enough to do his will rather than your own?  Do you seek to make God’s will your own?

on earth as it is in heaven.

Again, only in heaven will we know the fullness on God’s presence.  But the Earth is God’s creation.  What can you do to make our world more like the heavenly kingdom?

Give us this day our daily bread;

Jesus gives us the Bread of Heaven in the Eucharist; his body and blood.  God gives us whatever grace we need to face the challenges of our lives.  What grace do you need?  Do you stop to let God help you or do try to do it on your own?

and forgive us our trespasses,

When we sin, we offend God.  We need forgiveness.  The good news is that Jesus “is dying” to forgive us.  We just have to ask for it.  What do you need forgiveness for?

as we forgive those who trespass against us;

We cannot have forgiveness unless we are willing to forgive everyone who has hurt us.  Is there someone you need to forgive?

and lead us not into temptation,

Jesus was tempted in the desert.  As the Son of God, he had the strength and wisdom to resist the devil’s temptations.  We can fail in our own attempt to resist temptation.  The best way to avoid sin is to keep away from temptation.  What temptation do you need to learn to avoid?

but deliver us from evil.

Jesus died on the Cross to deliver us from evil.  AMEN.

Peace,

Fr. Jeff

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