A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 6:7-15
This is how you are to pray.
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 men their transgressions, your heavenly
Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, neither
will your Father forgive your transgressions.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The Bond that Unites Us
Prayer is not simply one occupation among many, but is at
the center of our life in Christ. It turns our attention away
from ourselves and directs it to the Lord. Prayer fills the mind
with truth and gives hope to the heart. Without a deep experience
of prayer, growth in the moral life will be shallow.
Our Father who art in heaven . . .
According to these words . . . everything is reduced to
this single concept: to learn to pray means “to learn the
Father.” If we learn the Father in the full sense of the word,
in its full dimension, we have learned everything.
To learn who the Father is means learning what absolute
trust is. To learn the Father means acquiring the certainty
that He does not refuse you even when everything—materially
and psychologically—seems to indicate refusal. He never
Prayer not only opens us up to a meeting with the Most
High, but also disposes us to meeting with our neighbors,
helping us to establish with everyone—without discrimination—
relationships of respect, understanding, esteem, and
love. Prayer is the bond that most effectively unites us all. It
is through prayer that believers meet one another at a level
where inequalities, misunderstandings, bitterness, and hostility
are overcome; namely, before God. Prayer is the authentic
expression of a right relationship with God and with others.
We need to reaffirm our need for intense, humble, confident,
and persevering prayer, if the world is finally to become
a dwelling place of peace.
St. John Paul II, Go in Peace
John Paul II, born Karol Józef Wojtyła in 1920, was elected pope in
1978 and exercised his ministry with a tireless missionary spirit. He
died in 2005 and was canonized in 2014.