JUNE 17. Ord Time. B. Wk. 11. Thu. Mt. 6. 7-15
Updated: Sep 10
Jesus said to his disciples: ‘In your prayers do not babble as the pagans do, for they think that by using many words they will make themselves heard. Do not be like them; your Father knows what you need before you ask him. So, you should pray like this:
‘Our Father in heaven,
may your name be held holy,
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 have forgiven those who are in debt to us.
And do not put us to the test,
but save us from the evil one.
‘Yes, if you forgive others their failings, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours; but if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failings either.’
The Our Father is a wonderful prayer; - but in using it we need to be aware of the demands it makes of us. In short it acknowledges one’s belief in God the Creator, and it goes on to ask that God’s teachings; - which come to us via his Son; - will be observed by all of his people on earth; - as they are observed in heaven.
Then it goes on to ask that God provide for our daily needs, and forgive our failings; - as we have forgiven those who have hurt or offended us; - but then at the conclusion of the teaching on prayer; - Christ nominates the condition for these requests being heard; -
“If you forgive others their failings, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours; - but if you do not forgive others; - your Father will not forgive your failings either!”
What this means is Love is at the very heart of the Our Father; - and not just love of God; - but it places equal importance on love of neighbour; - which means the prayer is very much focused on the daily living of “The Great Commandment!”
It is very easy for us not to “see” this condition Christ has put on our prayers being heard; - namely that we love everybody on earth, irrespective of how they have treated us, what they believe, or how they live their lives!
And while we are generally alert to this truth in the context of the command to practice Charity, Christ in this teaching has linked the practice of our Compassion, Charity, and Mercy towards others to the effectiveness of our Prayer!
And did not Christ “live” this teaching himself, in that he offered his life; - not only for his faithful followers; - but also for sinners and those who rejected both his teachings and his love?
It is easy to profess love of neighbour; - but we often restrict this to the love of our “good” neighbours; - those living a “good” life; - but this is not the Love Christ taught or lived; - he wants us to love our “bad” neighbours; - the ones who offend us, and who he gave his life for!
Gospel Acclamation Rm8:15
You have received the Spirit which makes us God’s children,
and in that Spirit we call God our Father.
First reading 2 Corinthians 11:1-11
I was careful not to be a burden to you in any way
I only wish you were able to tolerate a little foolishness from me. But of course: you are tolerant towards me. You see, the jealousy that I feel for you is God’s own jealousy: I arranged for you to marry Christ so that I might give you away as a chaste virgin to this one husband. But the serpent, with his cunning, seduced Eve, and I am afraid that in the same way your ideas may get corrupted and turned away from simple devotion to Christ. Because any new-comer has only to proclaim a new Jesus, different from the one that we preached, or you have only to receive a new spirit, different from the one you have already received, or a new gospel, different from the one you have already accepted – and you welcome it with open arms. As far as I can tell, these arch-apostles have nothing more than I have. I may not be a polished speechmaker, but as for knowledge, that is a different matter; surely we have made this plain, speaking on every subject in front of all of you.
Or was I wrong, lowering myself so as to lift you high, by preaching the gospel of God to you and taking no fee for it? I was robbing other churches, living on them so that I could serve you. When I was with you and ran out of money, I was no burden to anyone; the brothers who came from Macedonia provided me with everything I wanted. I was very careful, and I always shall be, not to be a burden to you in any way, and by Christ’s truth in me, this cause of boasting will never be taken from me in the regions of Achaia. Would I do that if I did not love you? God knows I do.