As I read today’s gospel reading, I thought, what more could I possibly tell our readers about the Lord’s Prayer? Quickly, a memory tore into my mind as if it had happened recently. As a young girl, I attended CCD, what we now call faith development. We met in the parish hall next to the church once a week. It was a very cold, quiet building. I can still feel the chill and dampness. It was the kind of cold that one left her outwear on even while inside the building.
On this particular Saturday morning, the pastor himself instructed our class. He broke down The Our Father Prayer, explaining each line with great care and detail. I was struck by the irony. I had been praying this prayer basically since I could speak and had I ever stopped to really think about and ponder what exactly I was saying? What was the meaning behind each line?
Do We Stop Short?
I fear perhaps we are all guilty of teaching our children, grandchildren, and godchildren to say this prayer and that prayer and stopping there. They memorize each one; but do we actually take the time to explain what they are praying? The meaning?
Today’s gospel is a great reminder to do just that. Take the time to sit with the ones you love, a stranger questioning your beliefs, a neighbor discerning the faith, and explain. Maybe you are not in a position yet to explain. If that is the case, take a few moments to do some research and learn. There are fantastic resources to guide you.
Memorized prayers are an important part of our faith traditions. Knowing what they mean and why we say them is even better.