Thursday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
2 Corinthians 11:1-11, Psalm 111:1-2, 3-4, 7-8, & Matthew 6:7-15
From 1739 to 1824, the first Secretary of the Continental Congress of the United States was Charles Thompson. The following lines from Mr. Thompson reflect more on our tendency to be self-centered while praying. He said, “You cannot pray the Lord’s Prayer and even once say, ‘I.’ You cannot pray the Lord’s Prayer and even once say, ‘My.’ Nor can you pray the Lord’s Prayer and not pray for another. For when you ask for daily bread, you must include your brother. For others are included in each and every plea. From the beginning to the end of it, it does not once say, ‘Me.”
Friends, from the beautiful Lord’s Prayer, we learn at least two things: First, prayer is quality and not quantity. Jesus teaches us how to pray and gives us the proper attitude of prayer, that is, by calling God as ‘Abba or Father.’ Our Lord reminds us that the Father knows us, and we must surrender ourselves to Him. Second, Christ teaches us to pray in common. The Our Father is the prayer that draws all Christians together.
As I conclude this reflection, I am reminded of the version of the Lord’s Prayer from Dag Hammarskjold, former Secretary of the United Nations from 1953-1961, which is: “Hollowed be your name, not mine; your kingdom come, not mine; your will be done, not mine.”
Question of the Day: Are you so familiar with the Lord’s Prayer that you hear it only as a kind of ‘mantra,’ paying no attention to its words that tell you who we are and what we need?
Prayer: You have received a spirit of adoption as a son through which we cry, Abba! Father!