He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.”
And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ And he answers from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs.
“So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion?
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
A Spiritual link
Although I am the only Catholic in my family, we are connected by our shared faith in God. One of the ways we express that connection is through the “Our Father,” the prayer Jesus taught in today’s reading. When I speak on the phone with family members, we often end our conversation with this shared prayer. My Baptist mother also likes to say to me, “Thy Kingdom come.” She says this as an affirmation that we are both working toward the same goal: the coming of God’s kingdom.
We all are invited to participate in the unity this prayer can bring. It gives everyone who follows Christ, regardless of denomination or church, common ground on which to stand. Although we live in a divided world, we can work together for something bigger than our divisions. As St. Ignatius taught, we labor with Christ in building the Kingdom of God.
Jesus, today may I be your co-worker in the building of your Kingdom. Amen.
—Patrick Saint-Jean, SJ