Voices ever ancient, ever new. Wednesday-Week27-2013.

”He [Jesus] was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” (Luke 11:4)

Origen of Alexandria offers the following insight on this verse from today's Gospel:

“I think that one of Jesus’ disciples was conscious in himself of human weakness, which falls short of knowing how we ought to pray…. Are we then to conclude that a man who was brought up in the instruction of the law, who heard the words of the prophets and did not fail to attend the synagogue, did not know how to pray until he saw the Lord praying “in a certain place?” It would certainly be foolish to say this. The disciple prayed according to the customs of the Jews, but he saw that he needed better knowledge about the subject of prayer.” (On Prayer, 2)

“Give us each day our daily bread … ” (Luke 11:3)

Saint John Cassian offers the following insight on this verse from today's Gospel:

“Give us this day our supersubstantial bread.” Another Evangelist uses the term daily. The first expression indicates that this bread has a noble and substantial character by which its exalted splendor and holiness surpass all substances and all creatures. With “daily” the Evangelist shows that without this bread we cannot live a spiritual life for even a day. When he says “this day,” he shows that the bread must be eaten each day. It will not be enough to have eaten yesterday unless we eat similarly today. May our daily poverty encourage us to pour out this prayer at all times, for there is no day on which it is unnecessary for us to eat this bread to strengthen the heart of the person within us. “Daily” can also be understood as referring to our present life. That is, “give us this bread while we linger in this present world.” We know that in the time to come you will give it to whoever deserves it, but we ask that you give it to us today. He who has not received it in this life will not be able to partake of it in that next life. (Conference, 9)”