(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 others their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”
Our conception of God influences the kind of spirituality that will give order and meaning to our lives. It will also color how we deal with the world at large. That is why Jesus introduces us to a Father that is wholly different from our own idea of who He is. Jesus serves as a kind of bridge that brings the Father near to us and we to Him. That is why He taught us the Our Father. This is the only prayer that Jesus prayed recorded in the gospel. This is the prayer He wishes all His disciples to be acquainted with.
Looking at the Our Father, we see a structure that could form our relationship with the Father of Jesus and our Father as well. First, there is praise and thanksgiving to this awesome God. Then the prayer of petition follows. Perhaps what is amazing in this prayer is the fact that when we forgive, we are also forgiven. Ultimately, forgiving others is to forgive ourselves also. So the next time we pray, let God take center stage in our prayer and not our problems and needs. That is the least of our concern for the loving God anticipates our needs and will respond accordingly. And secondly, what we do to others will eventually be what will be done to us in return.
Daily Gospel 2017