Reflections - July 24, 2016

“When you pray say:  Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come….”.
Lk. 11:2.
Jesus invites us in the Gospel to pray to the Good and Merciful Father and to pray for all our brothers and sisters, children of the same Father-God.
The first part of the Our Father says:  “hallowed be your name”.  This means that we pray to the Holy One because of excellence.  As the Prophet Isaiah said:  “Holy, holy, holy God of hosts.  Heaven and earth are full of your glory”.  We also say this in the Preface Acclamation of the Mass.
In the second part of the Our Father we say:  “Thy Kingdom Come”.  The Kingdom that Jesus teaches us to believe in is the Kingdom of love and service.  It is a kingdom of human brotherhood in which every man is loved and respected especially the most vulnerable of society – the non-born and the elderly.  No one can have faith and hope in the Kingdom that Jesus brought to us without having compassion for his neighbor.
We then say “Thy will be done”.  Many fail because they do not know what is the Will of God in their lives.  God has a plan and a purpose of salvation:  God does not want our destruction.  In the First Reading the Lord says to Abraham:  “For the sake of those ten, I will not destroy the city.”  Gen. 18:32.
Then the Our Fathers ends with four petitions.
“Give us this day our daily bread”.  Jesus educates us to ask with confidence for the sustenance of basic needs.  His disciples should not worry about what they will eat….Mt. 6:25.  Of course this does not mean not to work to earn the daily bread with justice.  Our daily bread also consists of the Eucharist, the Bread of Life – Divine Food, which nurtures us spiritually.
“And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”.  This prayer from Jesus to forgive is in direct relationship to the example of the Good Father.  “If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father” give forgiveness so that you will do the same.
“Lead us not into temptation” to feel as if we are the lords and masters of our lives without assuming responsibilities.  Deliver us from the temptation to believe in a small and manageable god that adapts to our “interests” “and to forget that You do not have a beginning or an end and that our nets are very small”.
“but deliver us from evil”, and from arrogance and indifference towards those who suffer and to reject the calling of the Cross and my lack of Christian hope.
The Our Father prayer is a teaching to “ask and search” with faith in that “you receive what you ask for” and that you “find” what you are looking for.  And above all the Our Father prayer opens the doors of your heart to believe and trust that His Kingdom will become a reality in your life”.  Amen.