June 19, 2014

The Gospel Today 

Thursday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

Matthew 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples:
“In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This is how you are to pray:

‘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.’

“If you forgive others their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

Reflection (Sem. Eldrick Pena):

     In today’s Gospel, Jesus teaches the apostles how to pray. And He left to them the most beautiful of all prayers, “The Our Father”.  It is the most beautiful prayer because it contains all the elements of prayer – Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving and Supplication.   It also is the prayer addressed to Jesus’ Father, who is our Father as well.

     The Our Father is one of the first prayers I was able to learn as a young child.   The prayer establishes a deep and personal relationship between the pray-er (the one who prays) and God (the Father).  For it is a relationship between a son/daughter and the Father.   It is the lifting up of the heart and mind of pray-er to the Father.   Asking for the Father’s guidance and blessing.

     There are times when I would pray the Our Father without really appreciating its beauty as a way of communicating to the Father. I would at times pray it mechanically especially when I have to rush in the context of praying the rosary.  But in doing so, it loses its essence as the perfect prayer.  It should be recited with much respect and reverence.

     Now as a seminarian, I would use the Our Father as a prelude to meditation. While silencing myself and my senses, I would recite the Our Father slowly and repeatedly until I am able to enter into meditation.

     The Our Father should have a special place in our hearts because it is the prayer that Jesus Himself taught us.  A prayer that springs from an intimate and personal relationship between the Father and the Son.

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