“When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your 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 do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus passes on to us the Our Father and for two thousand years we’ve been saying it. In all that time, have we yet plumbed that little prayer’s depths? Or do we more often than not babble our way through it? I can’t count all the times that I’ve said the Our Father at Mass and gone into autopilot, only to recognize that I’ve mentally skipped the whole prayer.
But there are graced moments as well when I say the prayer slowly and meditatively. How powerful it is to say “thy will be done” throughout the course of challenging day when there are conflicts to manage, constant interruptions, and things going awry. And how beautiful it is to recognize that you, O God, are our loving Father, calling us back time and again regardless of our trespasses.
Can I pause throughout my day today and prayerfully say the 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.