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Calling God Our Father

First Reading: Galatians 2:1-2, 7-14

Brothers and sisters:
After fourteen years I again went up to Jerusalem with Barnabas,
taking Titus along also.
I went up in accord with a revelation,
and I presented to them the Gospel that I preach to the Gentiles–
but privately to those of repute–
so that I might not be running, or have run, in vain.
On the contrary,
when they saw that I had been entrusted with the Gospel to the uncircumcised,
just as Peter to the circumcised,
for the one who worked in Peter for an apostolate to the circumcised
worked also in me for the Gentiles,
and when they recognized the grace bestowed upon me,
James and Cephas and John,
who were reputed to be pillars,
gave me and Barnabas their right hands in partnership,
that we should go to the Gentiles
and they to the circumcised.
Only, we were to be mindful of the poor,
which is the very thing I was eager to do.

And when Cephas came to Antioch,
I opposed him to his face because he clearly was wrong.
For, until some people came from James,
he used to eat with the Gentiles;
but when they came, he began to draw back and separated himself,
because he was afraid of the circumcised.
And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him,
with the result that even Barnabas
was carried away by their hypocrisy.
But when I saw that they were not on the right road
in line with the truth of the Gospel,
I said to Cephas in front of all,
“If you, though a Jew,
are living like a Gentile and not like a Jew,
how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 117:1BC, 2

R. Go out to all the world, and tell the Good News.
Praise the LORD, all you nations,
glorify him, all you peoples!
R. Go out to all the world, and tell the Good News.
For steadfast is his kindness toward us,
and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
R. Go out to all the world, and tell the Good News.

Gospel: Luke 11:1-4

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished,
one of his disciples said to him,
“Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Father, hallowed be your name,
your Kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread
and forgive us our sins
for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,
and do not subject us to the final test.”

NAB

oct-5-2

One thing that drew me to the Catholic Church was the rich tapestry of prayer practices. Our voices can pray—chanting the Psalms, reciting beautiful, centuries-old texts, or repeating simple, short prayers as mantras. Our bodies can pray—fasting, walking labyrinths on cathedral floors, making pilgrimages, or dedicating our work as prayer. Our minds can pray—reading Scripture carefully in lectio divina or meditating on sacred art. Or we can simply sit and converse with God.

In the days of the early Church, there was also variety in practice. While some new Christians were Jews who followed Jewish laws, some had previously been pagans and didn’t follow those same laws. Disagreements arose about which specific Jewish laws a person needed to follow before he could become a Christian. We read today in Galatians about Saint Peter (Cephas), who had eaten with Gentiles. He decided to stop eating with them because of pressure from others who felt Gentiles (who did not follow Jewish dietary laws) were unclean. Saint Paul, as a fellow bishop to the first pope, calls this hypocrisy and says it is not in line with the Gospel.

Of course, we’d never behave this hypocritically, right?

Do our favorite prayer practices become so important to us that we hold them up as a standard for faith? What about people who don’t like the Rosary, or people who attend a different liturgical style of Mass or like different hymns than we do? Do we ever think, even just a little bit, that they are less holy or that they are practicing their faith less correctly than we are?

In Saint Luke’s Gospel today, when Jesus’ disciples ask how they should pray, He gives them the simple prayer that we now know as the Our Father or Lord’s Prayer. There are no complicated formulas for how many times to pray it or what time of day to say it or how they should position their bodies when they pray. He just gives them the words . . . and He tells them to call God “Father.”

This invitation to call God “Father” makes us sisters in Christ. Whether we pray the Divine Mercy chaplet daily or just call out “Lord, have mercy!” at tough moments in the day, we are all God’s daughters.

[bctt tweet=”This invitation to call God “Father” makes us sisters in Christ. // @dere_abbey” username=”blessedisshe__”]

We can each grow in our faith by using the prayer practices that bring us closer to God. Let’s encourage our sisters in Christ to do the same—without judgment from us.

Abbey Dupuy writes her life as a homeschooling mama of four while relying on coffee and grace. You can find out more about her here.

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