Thursday, June 19, 2014

Christ’s Priorities

June 19: Thursday of Week 11 of Ordinary Time, Year A-II:
A thought for those who want to reveal the risen Jesus in their lifestyle.

Sirach 48:1-15; Psalm 97:1-2,3-4, 5-6, 7; Matthew 6:7-15

“This is how you are to pray.” Matthew 6:9

We know Jesus did not teach the Our Father as a set of words to memorize and recite, because in Luke 11:4 the words are different. But the basic content is the same. In this prayer Jesus lists his priorities in life. If we make them our own, we will pray well.

That is why—and how—we should pray the Our Father at the beginning of every day, using it consciously to set our priorities as soon as we awake. The words remind us what we are living for and what we should work for; what we should set our hearts on throughout the day.

First, that the Father be known and loved: “Hallowed be thy Name!” Then that his Kingdom be established and his will done as completely on earth as in heaven. Our “daily bread” is Jesus himself; our all-encompassing desire is for the “wedding banquet of the Lamb,” when all will share the Bread of heaven in a communal meal, perfectly reconciled with God and each other: all forgiven, all forgiving all.

We “have received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry: Abba! Father!” As sons and daughters of the Father “in the Son,” we love the Father as Jesus does, and make his desires our own. The heart of Jesus is the heart of all prayer.

PRAY: “Jesus, teach me to pray.”

PRACTICE: Recite the Our Father thoughtfully as soon as you awake.

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