Tuesday 1st Week of Lent
Praying the Our Father and the two great commandments.
Jesus has a purity of intention
and does no wander from it.
When asked by the rich young man
what was the greatest commandment,
he gave us two: love the Lord your God
and love your neighbor as yourself.
God, neighbor and self is the order of our love and affection.
In teaching his disciples to pray the Our Father,
he is doing the same thing.
The first part of this prayer centers on our Father God.
Callng on the “name” of God
makes him present to us,
with the full force
of his kingdom and his will.
We are to let go of our own plans
and ways so we can yield to God
that he may use us
for what he wants to accomplish.
Only after we have the proper disposition
to be in a relationship with God,
do we then mention our needs.
But notice this:
we don’t focus on ourselves as individuals
but as members who belong to one another,
to a community of faith.
We don’t pray,
“give me this day my daily bread,”
or “forgive me my trespasses.”
We pray for “our” daily bread
and for “our” trespasses to be forgiven
as “we” forgive those who trespass against us.
We are praying for the whole community,
not just ourselves.
Sometimes some of us may be strong
and some of us may be weak for whatever reason.
It is a comfort and consolation to know
that every day someone is praying for us
and we are praying for them.
When we deny praying just for ourselves
but we pray as well for the whole community,
we are strengthened not only by our individual prayer
but by their prayer as well.
That is a powerful prayer, considering how many people
around the world pray the Our Father every day.