The most difficult times can produce the greatest spiritual blessings. God truly knows just what we need at every moment!

Monday, July 30, 2007

28-29, July 2007 - 17 SUNDAY OF THE YEAR

God gives us bread, not stones. What are we giving to our brothers and sisters?

Lord Jesus, you teach us how to pray. Lord, have mercy,
Christ Jesus, you intercede with the Father, Christ have mercy,
Lord Jesus, you remember your people, . Lord, have mercy,

May Almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins, and brig us to everlasting life. Amen.

- Jesus thought us how to pray, asking his Father for our daily needs. S let us pray for the coming of the Kingdom of God.

- Father of mercy, you are always quick to forgive. Help us to desire the good and guide us to seek the truth. We ask you this through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Genesis 18:20-32; Colossians 2:12-24; Luke 11:1-13

For centuries now we have been reciting the Lord's Prayer (in Matthew's version). We do so before Communion at every Eucharist and, for instance, when we say the Rosary and maybe many times a day.
"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."

Let us make a very short analysis of some important words of this prayer:

- Our Father … - do I recognize that I am not saying my Father, but our!!! This prayer is never my private encounter with God. Our Father is a prayer going against the iPod generation, is using our and not I. I cannot say `our' if I live only for myself.

- who art in heaven, - am I aware that my final destination is there "in heaven" and not here? Why, am I so strongly attached to this, earthly reality? I cannot say `who art in heaven' if I am not laying up some treasure there right now.

- hallowed be thy name - is the name of God sanctified also in my life, in my actions, in my words? I cannot say `Hallowed be thy name' if I am careless with that name.

- Thy kingdom come - what do I do in my life to facilitate the coming of the God's kingdom into this world? Or maybe I am rather constructing my private kingdom? I cannot say `Thy kingdom come' if I am not working to actualize it in the here and now.
- Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven - it is very easy to say "thy will be done" especially when the will of God is going along with my will. And when it is against my will … I am claiming rather my rights … I cannot say `Thy will be done' if I am resentful of that will for me at this moment. I cannot say `on earth as it is in heaven' if I don't look on heaven as my future home.

- give us this day our daily bread - and don't give me too much, because the material comfort is making me blind for the needs of the others and I forget that here, there are two small words "give us" - not give me, and "our bread" - not my bread. I cannot say `Give us our daily bread' if I am overanxious about tomorrow.

- and forgive us our trespasses - o yes, forgive us because without your Mercy we are in a disaster
- as we forgive those who trespass against us - God, with this don't be too serious because if you forgive us only according to our measures we will be totally lost. So … teach e rather how to forgive the others, I cannot say `Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us' if I am waiting to settle a score with someone.

- and lead us not into temptation - even if something seems to me very attractive and very pretty, even if it is for me so dear and so important … it is only for me and only in my eyes, and could b only a temptation, I cannot say `Lead us not into temptation' if I deliberately put myself in a place to be tempted.
- but deliver us from evil - the real freedom from evil is the knowledge of the ultimate true and wisdom, so give us the wisdom in all we are doing, and let us know the liberating true.

Jesus -teaching his disciples the prayer "Our Father"- didn't intend to give them a kind of automatic formula for mechanical recitation. We have to deepen our reflection and understanding of this prayer.

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