First Reading: 2 Corinthians 11:1-11
I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! I feel a divine jealousy for you, for I betrothed you to Christ to present you as a pure bride to her one husband. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if some one comes and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you submit to it readily enough. I think that I am not in the least inferior to these superlative apostles. Even if I am unskilled in speaking, I am not in knowledge; in every way we have made this plain to you in all things. Did I commit a sin in abasing myself so that you might be exalted, because I preached God’s gospel without cost to you? I robbed other churches by accepting support from them in order to serve you. And when I was with you and was in want, I did not burden any one, for my needs were supplied by the brethren who came from Macedo’nia. So I refrained and will refrain from burdening you in any way. As the truth of Christ is in me, this boast of mine shall not be silenced in the regions of Acha’ia. And why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do!
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 111:1-4, 7-8
Praise the LORD. I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation. Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who have pleasure in them. Full of honor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures for ever. He has caused his wonderful works to be remembered; the LORD is gracious and merciful. The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy, they are established for ever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
Gospel: Matthew 6:7-15
“And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: 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 debts, As we also have forgiven our debtors; And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil. For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Such a simple prayer, yet so complex; to say so much with so few words. When was the last time you really examined the Lord’s Prayer? Perhaps you’re like me; I grew up saying it, but never really thinking about what it was saying and what it was asking.
Today I offer you a short study of this important piece of our prayer life.
Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
:: A reminder of the Ten Commandments—that God’s name is sacred and holy.
Thy kingdom come.
:: A reminder that the kingdom of God, the promise He gave to us, has been fulfilled. Like the most perfect parent God has kept His promise.
Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
:: A reminder, a promise to God, that our goal is to submit to, to live according to, His will. It is not our will that shapes our world.
Give us this day our daily bread;
:: A reminder that we need not ask any more than what is need right now, to do the work that is laid before us today.
And forgive us our debts, As we also have forgiven our debtors;
:: A reminder that we are forgiven to the extent that we forgive others.
And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil.
:: We ask that God continues to lead our life away from temptations and to free us from sin.
When laid out like this, the Lord’s Prayer is not so much away to ask God for favors, but a clear, concise way to remember our duty, promises, and our hope in God.
Today, pray the Lord’s Prayer, and use it as a tool to examine your life and your actions. Remember today the words of Dorothy Day: “I really only love God as much as the person I love the least.” We are called to radically forgive others, to radically love others because it is through the love and forgiveness we give to those who least deserve it that our promises in the Lord’s Prayer are fulfilled.
Can you pray this prayer more deeply?
Molly Walter is a wife, mother and homemaker (with a pesky job outside the home). She shares about making the life she wants with the life she’s been given over here.