Ordinary Time 11: Thursday

The Lord’s Prayer is the baptismal prayer of Jesus’ disciples. How often have we prayed this Gift individually, communally and ritually? How much ink has been used through the centuries to pen commentaries on the Lord’s Prayer? (Do spend a few moments pondering the section from the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the Lord’s Prayer.) Saints and sinners have pondered the sacred words of this prayer to experience our Lord’s comforting presence and peace. Many a catechumen longed to pray these words once the life-giving waters of Baptism poured the new life of Divine adoption into her or his heart.

Centuries ago, Tertullian remarked that the Lord’s Prayer is a summary of the entire Gospel. Consequently, each of must frequent the Lord’s Prayer not only with a prayerful voice but with a reflective heart challenging me to ‘daily’ conversion. Each declaration of the Prayer (for example “Our Father”) and each petition of the Prayer (for example, “Give us this day our daily bread”) are points for examining our lives in the light of our Father’s mercy as disciples of His Son, Jesus. Saint Teresa of Avila, a Doctor of the Church, often used the Lord’s Prayer to help the sisters in her community lead a more devout Christian life.

Long before Saint Teresa, Origen of Alexandria penned a treatise On Prayer and drew the majority of his insights from the Lord’s Prayer. Among the many dimensions of this Prayer that stirred him to reflect on the Person Jesus, Origen was captivated by the petition for “daily bread.” ἐπιούσιος (epiousios), the Greek word translated here as daily, appears only once in the entire New Testament and expresses necessities for living physically AND spiritually.

As Jesus’ teaching on prayer is proclaimed today at Mass, consider ...
  • When I pray the Lord’s Prayer, how reverent and attentive am I to the Sacred Words?
  • What (or WHO) is needed super-essentially for living life?
  • What life changes am I being called to make in view of the Lord’s Prayer?

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen