The Our Father (CCC 2786-2865)

Six days until Palm Sunday and the 40 days of Lent will be over.  Are you ready to renew your Baptismal vows?  Reject sin and Satan?  Hunger and thirst for holiness? (Mt. 5: 6)  Refuse to compromise with the Prince of Darkness even if you are persecuted?  (Mt. 5: 10)

Remove all obstacles and stumbling blocks so that you will be able to go straight along the road to eternal life. — St. Cyril of Jerusalem.

Concerning Prayer

Matthew 6: 5-15

6: 6 in secret:  Private prayer is a complement to communal prayer not a rejection of it.  (cf 18: 20; Acts 1: 12-14; CCC 2602, 2655)

CCC 2602   Jesus often draws apart to pray in solitude, on a mountain, preferably at night.

6: 7  empty phrases. . . many words:  Jesus considers the false piety and religiosity of pagans who would recite long lists of “divine” names to get the attention of their gods.  This practice is devoid of faith and reverent love for the deity.  However, with a pure heart, repetitious and lengthy prayer can be fruitful and intimate.  Jesus Himself repeated the same prayer three times in Gethsemane.  (26: 44)

The Lord’s Prayer (oratio Dominicia)

Matthew 6: 9-13

The Lord’s Prayer is a model of prayer.  It has seven petitions and can be divided into two parts:  the first section (6: 9-10) glorifies God; while the second half (6: 11-13) petitions God about human needs.  (CCC 2765, 2781)

6:9  Our:  This is the universal Church’s prayer. (CCC 2768)

Father:  Jesus may have taught this prayer in Aramaic.  In this, He would have addressed the Father as “Abba” an affectionate title.  We are God’s children by the grace of Divine adoption so we can call Him “Abba” also.  (CCC 2766, 2780)

Hallowed be your name:  we recognize God’s name is thrice holy.  (CCC 2807)

6:11  Our daily bread:  the Greek “epiousios” (daily) is used only here and in Lk 11: 3 in the New Testament.  It probably means “for tomorrow” or “for the future.”  This petition concerns food for body and soul.  1)  the necessities of life that fathers provide for their children is a form of daily bread.  2.)  Church Fathers interpret “daily bread” as a reference to the Holy Eucharist.  (CCC 2837)

6: 13  evil:  This is definitely Satan:  the Evil One.  We are praying for God’s deliverance in the final days when the devil and evil will be destroyed.  (Rev 20: 10)

Our FatherNext Time:  Matthew 6: 19-34

Study Question:  What are the proper dispositions for one who prays the Our Father?

Meditation:  Let us say the Lord’s Prayer each day; meditating on our Father who art in Heaven.


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Filed under Catholic, Christian, Eucharist and Mass, Lent, Prayer

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