Tuesday in the First Week of Lent, Mar 7, 2017
Rev. Joe Hart


Scripture for the Day

I share with you this reflection I felt aided in my understanding of these readings.

They come from the work of the Benedictine, Genevieve Glen, OSB who is a contemplative from St Walburga Monastery .

“ Prayer is a central Lenten work. Today, Jesus teaches his disciples-us-the most beloved of all prayer; Our Father who art in heaven “ Do you remember when you learned it ? I was four or five when my grandmother taught is to me as I knelt beside my bed.  But, being Presbyterian, she taught me to ask forgiveness for debts as I forgave my debtors, whoever they were. Later in Catholic school, I learned that the debts were really trespasses, which weren’t  a whole lot clearer. Sister Stanislaus tried to simplify it: “That means ’sins’, children. You know what sins are.” Presbyterian raised and Catholic-educated, I certainly did. 

But the point of this ancient prayer is not exact words, treasured though they are in Christian experience. Other-wise, why would God have given us two different versions, one in Matthew and one in Luke?  The point of any version is connection and transformation.

This often-prayed text seeps into our bones with use.  When we are tired, lost or simply numb with routine, we murmur “Our Father” and the rest of the words tumble out around us  and shelter us, like the stone walls of a sheepfold.  God is there. WE are connected. A chaplain told of praying  with a patient with a deep in dementia. At the Our Father, the patient, who hadn’t been speaking joined in.  The phrases were familiar.  They were home. They were ties to the God who never forgets even when we do.

So, in darkness and light, danger and safe harbor, fervor and boredom, let us carry these words back to God laden with our lives as they are, knowing the gift is alway welcomed and made new.


Pray the Lord’s prayer very slowly and reflectively, linking it to your own life.


Last Published: March 7, 2017 9:23 AM