Sirach 48: 1-14
Matthew 6: 7-15
In today’s Gospel, Jesus is teaching His disciples how to pray. He begins by telling them that words alone are not sufficient. A strong message in today’s society, with our individualistic culture, is that it promotes the disconnection between words and actions – they do not always align. St Luke informs us that Jesus taught this beautiful prayer at the request of an unnamed disciple. (Lk 11:1) It is the divine model that teaches us how to pray. In the early Church catechumens were instructed in the life of prayer to study the Lord’s Prayer. It also figures prominently in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I have heard it called the “Perfect Prayer’ for reasons as simple as the fact that Jesus was the one who taught it, along with its nature of including other types of prayer.
The Lord’s Prayer is accepted and used by all Christians and it unites us all as members of one community by stressing what we hold in common rather than what divides.
Our inclusive nature has resulted in many versions written, acknowledging local languages, cultures, histories and expressions of prayer. It brings us back to the core, to the relationship that we are invited to enter into when consciously praying. Has there ever been a more powerful or important prayer than the “Lord’s Prayer”? After all, it is the prayer that Jesus Himself taught us to pray. And yet how easy it is for this prayer to become just another part of our routine!
Sr Karen Englebretsen CP, Cross and Passion Sisters. blessed to be a spiritual care worker in the homeless sector in Melbourne.