+Dear Saint David Parishioners,
In today’s Gospel, Jesus’ disciples ask Him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” The disciples posed this question because they often observed Jesus going off to commune with His Father. It makes me think that if Jesus needed time to unite with His Father to know His will, then how much more do I, and all of us, need prayer time? Throughout the Gospels we read that Jesus prayed regularly, such as, before choosing His apostles, at the Wedding Feast of Cana, when He multiplied the loaves and fishes, before raising Lazarus from the dead, at the Last Supper, in the Garden of Gethsemane…to mention but a few times. The key point is that prayer was an essential and consistent practice in Jesus’ life.
What is so profound in the “Our Father” prayer is that Jesus tells us that His Father is our Father too. Jesus explains that when we pray, we must acknowledge God’s greatness and holiness – simply put – God is God, and we are not. We then pray that His Kingdom will be recognized by all, and that God’s will be done. We realize that God’s will is done in Heaven, and we pray for the graces we need (our daily bread) to fulfill the mission He has assigned to us individually in this life, in order that we may one day be united with Him forever in Heaven. Furthermore, as fallible people, we beg God’s forgiveness for our sins, and we are then expected to extend that mercy to others. Finally, Jesus teaches that we must pray that we are not engulfed by the snares of the devil. The devil is extremely deceitful and will try all sorts of tricks and lies to prevent us from having a personal relationship with our God. Therefore, we pray for the protection of Saint Michael the Archangel after every Mass.
While I was on pilgrimage to the Holy Land on the occasion of my 25th IHM Jubilee, we visited the Church of Pater Noster, or Church of All Nations. This church is built on the traditional site where Jesus is said to have prayed following the Last Supper. The church takes its name from the numerous nations who donated mosaics of the Our Father in their native language. These international mosaics, I believe, reinforce Saint Augustine’s famous quote, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in God.” May we accept Jesus’ invitation to share our love and lives with our Father and never to hesitate to pray to Him always.
In Mary’s Immaculate Heart, I am,