By Fr. Tom Zelinski, OFM Cap.
The Gospel reading for Thursday of Week 11 contains Jesus’ teaching on prayer, which we have come to call the “Our Father.”
It is valuable to focus on the first word, “our.” At the meetings of some groups, the members pray this prayer and before they start, someone will ask “Whose Father?” And the prayer begins.
We pray to our Father, and not merely my Father. It is a reminder that we are all children of God and therefore related to each other as brothers and sisters. Everyone, not only Christians, but all people are thus related.
The human race has not learned that lesson well. Down through the centuries, it seems the history of humanity is a history of warfare, violence, racism and oppression. But we must not forget the many millions who did indeed try to live respecting their brothers and sisters.
And so, given the news of each day, we still have a lot to learn, based on the simple beginning of the Lord’s Prayer. We could also include concern for the earth and its creatures. Our God has created and presides over all. Francis of Assisi liked to call many creatures his brothers and sisters, all in view of our Creator God.
As we pray the prayer so often, we might see the many applications of that word, “our.” Lord, teach us to pray.