Tuesday 1st Week of Lent
Jesus has a purity of intention and does not 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 God’s name,
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 that 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.”
Jesus taught us to 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 for the whole community,
we are strengthened not only by our individual prayer
but by their prayer as well.