Tuesday of the First Week of Lent
The our Father prayer
In praying, do not babble like the pagans …Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. “This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and do not subject us to the final test, but deliver us from the evil one …. Mt 6,7-13
Why to pray? We tried several times to answer to this question and we always came into realizing the belief that the related reasons are only two: we pray because we need it and because Jesus prayed. The day of Jesus, as it is described by the gospels, consists of three meetings: with the crowd, with the disciples and with the Father, by a prayer. However, the one bringing the other two into the way of life is clearly the moment of the prayer with the Father. Even our day consists of three phases: the social life, the family life and the personal life. The experience has taught us that if the personal life is full of prayer, the others will be practiced in grace and fullness, because the prayer changes the people as well as the situations and the human relationships. Each of us has its own way of praying; however, the suggestion of Jesus in the today’s gospel is that the prayer has to be made up by few words, hence by a lot of silence and listening. The prayer of Jesus, the our Father, at the same time is personal and universal: it always uses the word “our”, never the word “my” and by that “our” he prays for all of us and on behalf of everyone, even those who do not know how to pray. The our Father prayer is the simpler, larger, more comprehensive and universal prayer which exists. It is composed by three parts. The first concerns the plan of universal salvation: hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Also, the request: ” even through us ” Is intimately present. The second relates to our needs: the daily bread, the need to be forgiven and to forgive. And the Lord knows how much we need to enter into the dimension of forgiveness! The third part is a request to help for our weakness: make the temptations no stronger then our ability to resist and release us from the evil, which continually creeps, thin and poisonous as a viper in our thoughts, in our feelings, in our words and in our actions. As soon as the Lord’s prayer ends up, we feel stronger, untied and in communion with the Lord and protected by his grace.