Readings for Thursday June 17, 2010

First Reading: Sirach 48:1-14
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 97
Gospel: 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.”

How many times have you been at mass or praying a rosary and when you pray the Our Father prayer you just kind of recite it and don't even think about what it is that you are saying. It seems that many times when we recite this special prayer our brain and mouth kind of go into autopilot. We do this because sometimes when we recite a prayer like the Our Father so much we begin to make a big mistake; we start saying it, instead of praying it. When we just say the prayer, it has no meaning, our mouth is just kind of saying the words while our brain is taking a rest. But when we pray the Our Father, we do something much more, we talk to God, we think about the words of the prayer that Jesus gave us so long ago and how this prayer gives us clarity in our lives about who God is and what it is that we are to do.

So how do we go about praying the Our Father instead of just saying it? The first thing that we should do is ask for help. Ask the Holy Spirit for focus whenever you are praying. This means clearing your mind of any and all distractions, and just simply focus on the words and what they mean. Another thing to do is to take some time and read these words, think about what it is they are saying and what do they mean to you. Like I said above, the Our Father prayer is truly a special prayer that really does tell us so much about who God is in our lives and the most important things that we should do in our life. Another thing that we should remember is to never give up. There will certainly be times when we get distracted and don't pray as we should, but it is important to not give up. We must use each moment to get closer to God, and if one moment is unsuccessful, then we look forward and move on to the next moment.

The Our Father is meant to bring us closer to God and to give us clarity in our life. The next time that you say this prayer, do not let this opportunity pass you by.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is 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. Amen.

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