The Lord’s Prayer

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila - The Freeman

Today’s Gospel is a prayer that all Christians know by heart for it is the only prayer that our Lord Jesus Christ taught to his disciples, who handed it down to us 2,000 years ago. It is the Lord’s Prayer and you can read it in Luke 11:1-13.

“1 [Jesus] was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” 2 He said to the, “When you pray, say, Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. 3 Give us each day our daily bread 4 and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.”

5 And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6 for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,’ 7 and he says in reply from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked and my children and I area already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.’

8 I tell you, if he does not get up to five him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence. 9 “And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds and the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

11 What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? 12 Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? 13 If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who asks him?”

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Again let me emphasize that all Christians and Catholics, including our separated brethren, pray the Lord’s Prayer. This is one prayer that truly unites Christians of all sects to the universal Catholic Church because it is written in scriptures. More importantly, prayer is our way to get connected to God. Without prayer there is no way for our spiritual life to grow.

As we’ve written many times before, the difference between human beings and animals is that, we have a soul. Ask yourself, how many times did you pamper your body? You feed it with good food, if you can afford it… dress in nice clothes, drink expensive or cheap wine and more often than not, succumb to the pleasures of the flesh. But all these are temporary highs in one’s life. Even the richest people on earth feel that there’s an emptiness inside or a void, which money cannot buy. So what is causing this void?

Theologians say that this void is our soul, thirsting for spiritual nourishment. I submit that there are many kinds of spiritual nourishment. Buddhists have their own teachings on this or how to achieve true enlightenment. The Muslims have their Koran, while we Christians have our own Bible, although often it’s been reworded to suit the need of other Christian sects.

For sure, we already know how to nourish our bodies. But how do we nourish our souls? Prayer, as we pointed out, is our conversation with God. In fact one of the best ways to nourish our spiritual life is via frequent visits to the Adoration Chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is exposed. Whenever you feel low or down, go to the Lord who awaits you in the Blessed Sacrament. When you’re having a great day or time, go to the Blessed Sacrament and thank the Lord for the great blessings he has showered upon you.

Lest you have forgotten, when our Lord Jesus Christ taught his disciples how to pray the Lord’s Prayer, he did not just simply teach them how to pray. He elevated our sinful selves into his divine level as brothers with one Father. Our Lord Jesus Christ is after all, the only begotten Son of the Living God. What a great blessing where we miserable sinners are given the privilege to call God our Father.

This is what happened to St. Josemaria Escriva who prayed “Abba Father.” We too should pray just like St. Escriva and call God the Father “Abba Father.” But for us Catholics, the highest form of spiritual nourishment is when we take Holy Communion during the mass. As our Lord Jesus Christ clearly said, “Take this all of you and eat it… for this is my body.”

However, allow me to warn you not to simply pray the Lord’s Prayer because you memorized it already. You must pray this prayer with the thought that God our Father hears us and listens to us. The Lord’s Prayer is a complete prayer so when you ask for forgiveness of our sins, make sure that you are also ready to forgive those who have trespassed you, otherwise your prayer to God would have no meaning at all. God bless you all!

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Email: vsbobita@gmail.com


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