Prequel to Roc Homily – Seventeenth Sunday Ordinary Time 2016

Old Man praying

This is a wholly new way of looking at the Lord’s Prayer for me.  See whether it works for you.

Consider the placement of this prayer in Matthew’s gospel (6:5-15).  It’s set right in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount, the inaugural address Jesus made to his disciples in which he laid out his program of reform.  

However, Luke placed the Lord’s prayer in chapter 11 after Peter’s affirmation at Cesarea Philippi, “You are the Christ of God!” and after two predictions of his suffering, death, and resurrection: “But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was concealed from them, so that they could not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying…” (9:45)  From this point onward, Jesus proceeds with a sense of urgency to teach the disciples and the Twelve about the implications of following him.

What if this prayer is not simply a nice, generic prayer meant to teach us how to ask God for what we want.  What if it’s not a prayer to have aGod confirm us and console us within our comfort zones?  What if this prayer is a very specific kind of prayer – the kind disciples pray on the way behind Jesus toward Jerusalem?

More tomorrow, I trust. –roc,sj

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