THURSDAY OF THE ELEVENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
In today's Gospel passage, Jesus teaches us to pray the Our Father. As one of the basic prayers of our Catholic faith, we often say the words of the Our Father without thinking through the meaning of the words we are reciting. I can't recall how many rosaries I've lost focus on while my mind continued to chant through the Our Father, Hail Mary, and the Glory Be.
We teach children these basic prayers to provide them with a foundation for their faith. We all know that some people will stray from the Father, looking for something else to fill their hearts. Studies have shown that when people face a life crisis, they often return to these essential prayers even after years of separation from the Church.
Jesus tells us to begin by praying, Our Father. Even if we stop there, we have acknowledged God as Our Father. A father is defined as a man who gives care and protection to someone or something. Do we see God as Our Father? As a loving, caring provider that teaches us and guides us each day. As the Father who wants the best for us at all times.
When our hearts cry out, Our Father, God listens. He hears the prayers in the depths of hearts crying out to him even before we know the words.