0

The Lord’s Prayer

First Reading: Sirach 48:1-14

Like a fire there appeared the prophet Elijah
whose words were as a flaming furnace.
Their staff of bread he shattered,
in his zeal he reduced them to straits;
By the Lord’s word he shut up the heavens
and three times brought down fire.
How awesome are you, Elijah, in your wondrous deeds!
Whose glory is equal to yours?
You brought a dead man back to life
from the nether world, by the will of the LORD.
You sent kings down to destruction,
and easily broke their power into pieces.
You brought down nobles, from their beds of sickness.
You heard threats at Sinai,
at Horeb avenging judgments.
You anointed kings who should inflict vengeance,
and a prophet as your successor.
You were taken aloft in a whirlwind of fire,
in a chariot with fiery horses.
You were destined, it is written, in time to come
to put an end to wrath before the day of the LORD,
To turn back the hearts of fathers toward their sons,
and to re-establish the tribes of Jacob.
Blessed is he who shall have seen you
And who falls asleep in your friendship.
For we live only in our life,
but after death our name will not be such.
O Elijah, enveloped in the whirlwind!

Then Elisha, filled with the twofold portion of his spirit,
wrought many marvels by his mere word.
During his lifetime he feared no one,
nor was any man able to intimidate his will.
Nothing was beyond his power;
beneath him flesh was brought back into life.
In life he performed wonders,
and after death, marvelous deeds.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 97:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7

R. (12a) Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
The LORD is king; let the earth rejoice;
let the many isles be glad.
Clouds and darkness are round about him,
justice and judgment are the foundation of his throne.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
Fire goes before him
and consumes his foes round about.
His lightnings illumine the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his justice,
and all peoples see his glory.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!
All who worship graven things are put to shame,
who glory in the things of nought;
all gods are prostrate before him.
R. Rejoice in the Lord, you just!

Gospel: Matthew 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.”

NAB

DEV_J16

We all know the words to The Lord’s Prayer. They are the familiar, comforting words of our youth, or even, maybe, a movie scene. We can come from a myriad of Christian traditions and yet this prayer is a common thread between us, it is a key and important part of what it means to be a Christian—that we pray the way Christ Himself instructed us.

But if we truly pray these words we are not simply going through pious motions and mouthing words of simple comfort. We’re declaring a daring and radical personal statement of belief and a manifesto on how we live our lives.

I can’t help but get a tingle down my spine, and a little thrill of excitement when we recite the words “Give us this day our daily bread.” Those words do not simply mean “please give us what we want, when we want it” they mean that we rely on the Father to give us everything from day to day. Can we imagine what God might give us?

“Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done” is an extreme thing to say when we don’t know what God’s will can mean for our lives. We choose to live with an incredible amount of surrender and trust when we pray these words.

When we pray these words with our whole hearts, minds, and wills we are opening our lives to whatever God may have in store for us. It could mean being taken into heaven in a fiery chariot like Elijah in today’s First Reading, it could mean laying down our own desires for what God may be calling us to, it could mean being bold and daring and going where we never thought we could, it could mean accepting terrible suffering, it could mean just about anything.

That is a very daring action to pray these words, it is not a passive or meaningless prayer. It takes a lot of trust to live each day in the present moment waiting for God’s word in our lives, waiting for what we are in desperately in need of, or waiting for the strength to get through immense challenges.

Although our daily lives may feel staid with sameness and overwhelmed in the ordinary, the truth we live as Christians is exemplified in this prayer of Christ’s. We offer ourselves and our lives to God and we know that any day momentous things could happen and that grace comes without fail.

Christ has taught us a powerful prayer for changing our lives in accordance to His grace, pray the Our Father today while imaging the words coming from the voice of Christ, and let His grace touch your life. 

photo credit

Christy Isinger is the mom to five lovely, loud children living in the Canadian wilds. You can find out more about her here.

No Comments

Leave a Reply