Gospel Reflection – Tuesday 1st Week of Lent (8 March 2022) – Our Father in Heaven
Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (6:7-15) where Jesus shares to His disciples that prayer does not require many words to be heard by our Father.
Fr Paul says, in today’s Gospel, if we ask ourselves the question, ‘how do I pray?’, then Jesus gives an answer to His disciples. Fr Paul explains that you also have to understand as we begin, the Gospel writer puts the Lord’s prayer right in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount. So this guide on ‘how to pray’ is at the very centre of the Sermon.
Fr Paul says that ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ as we call it, can be broken down in the following ways:
Firstly, it starts with an invocation. In this case “Our Father in Heaven”.
The rest of the prayer is then divided into two halves. Each half will have three requests. The first three are in relation to God. The second three are in relation to us, the Christian disciples.
Starting with the three petitions about God, we have at the centre, “your kingdom come”. “May your name be held Holy, your kingdom come, your will be done”.
This is a prayer about the completion of God’s plan.
The second three petitions are about human needs. It’s about being fed, not just with food but with everything we need. It’s about God’s forgiveness and our forgiveness of others.
Then the prayer concludes by asking for help when tested and to be saved from the evil one. So the Lord’s prayer is a very beautiful prayer. Fr Paul says, we invoke God at the very beginning. We know that the mission and our plan is the coming of God’s king, the doing of God’s will, holding God at the centre. We acknowledge that to do this we have human needs; the need to be fed, the need to forgive and the need to be on guard.
As we continue our Lenten Journey, Fr Paul invites us to remember the good works of prayer that we can do using the guide provided by Jesus.