Gospel Reading: Mt 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 men their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done
Jesus instructs his disciples on the proper way of praying – not in the manner of the Gentiles who utter long and senseless prayers. Prayer is to be an expression of our personal relationship with God; it should be like a conversation of good friends. Some prayers can be very long and tedious so that people may end up “hating” them.
After all, as Jesus says, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
The “Our Father” is a model of our prayer to God, expressing our intimate relationship with the Father. In it we pray that the Father’s name be sanctified, that his Kingdom come, and that his will be done both in heaven and on earth.
We then ask the Father for the things we need: our daily sustenance, our need to be forgiven, and our desire not to be led into temptation. Asking for forgiveness from the Father presupposes that we have (already) forgiven those who have sinned against us. For, indeed, how can we ask the Father to forgive us our trespasses (opheilēmata in Greek) when we have not forgiven those who trespass against us?
Thus, in such a short prayer, we express both praise and thanksgiving to the Father who loves us above all his creation.
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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2016,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.