A Reflection on the Lord’s Prayer

First Reading: Is 55:10-11
Psalm: Ps 34:4-5, 6-7, 16-17, 18-19
Gospel: Mt 6:7-15

The Lord’s prayer, taught by Jesus to his disciples in today’s Gospel,
is the only prayer Jesus left to us. It is precious, therefore, and we
ought to pray over it and meditate on it, in order that we might draw
from it, in full measure, the wisdom that went into composing it.
One truth in the prayer that cries out for recognition is that the
church is a social institution, that prayer is a social exercise.

In the Lord’s Prayer we do not pray, “My Father in heaven,” nor “give
me today my daily bread.” It is not for ourselves alone that we are to
ask not to be led into temptation, to be delivered from evil. Even in
such a personal matter as our own sins-and surely our sins are ours
alone, they are not of others-even in this totally personal matter we
are not to ask forgiveness only for ourselves, nor others for
themselves. We are together to ask forgiveness for all of us. “Forgive
us our sins …”

There is always the danger that we will look on religion as merely a
relationship between God and ourselves. We are, however, a sinful
community, supporting one another in our search for salvation.
Let us ask ourselves as we share in the worship experience of the Mass,
“Am I consciously aware, as I live my religion, that as I am one with
all Christians in our common sinfulness, so together with them I reach
out for and grasp salvation?”

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