– 30th Week in Ordinary Time –
“Pray then in this way: ‘Our Father …” [Matthew 6:9]
Before Jesus reveals to his disciples the prayer we know as the ‘Our Father’, he prefaces it with a warning against babbling. God is not a genie, prayer is not a recipe. God wants our heart, not our best impersonations of a robot. Jesus knows we have a tendency to place our faith in the work we do (e.g. by reciting many words) instead of in the one who is really doing the work.
The second preface Jesus gives us is that “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” How beautiful. In any moment I could tell you my want based on how I feel, but our Father in heaven can see into the depths of my heart where my deepest needs and desires lie. God places a higher importance on fulfilling those needs than my – or your – passing wants.
Our Father. This “Our” reminds us that as sons and daughters of God we must act towards others in the way we desire to be treated ourselves. Jesus is instructing us in how to act like the Father’s children. Loving our neighbour – especially our enemies – will play a role in filling our deepest desires. Through loving our neighbour we are loving God, who we were created to love. This is how we bring about his kingdom.
By Emma Fradd