11th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Sir 48:1–14
Then came the prophet Elijah like a fire, his words a burning torch.
He brought a famine on the people and in his zealous love had them reduced in number.
Speaking in the name of the Lord he closed the heavens, and on three occasions called down fire.
How marvelous you were, Elijah, in your wondrous deeds! Who could ever boast of being your equal? By the word of the Most High you brought a dead man back to life; you brought kings to destruction and thrust famous men from their beds.
You heard a rebuke at Sinai and sentences of punishment at Horeb; you anointed kings to be avengers and prophets to succeed you.
You were taken up by a whirlwind of flames in a chariot drawn by fiery horses.
It was written that you should be the one to calm God’s anger in the future before it broke out in fury, to turn the hearts of fathers to their sons and to restore the tribes of Jacob.
Happy are those who will see you and those who die in love, for we too shall live.
Such was Elijah, taken up in a whirlwind, and Elisha was filled with his spirit.
During his life no leader could shake him, no one domi¬nated him. Nothing was too difficult for him and even in death his body prophesied. In life he worked wonders, in death his deeds were amazing.
Gospel: Matthew 6:7-15
Jesus said to his disciples, “When you pray, do not use a lot of words, as the pagans do, for they hold that the more they say, the more chance they have of being heard. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need, even before you ask him.
“This, then, is how you should pray:
‘Our Father in heaven,
holy be your name,
your kingdom come
and your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts
just as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us.
Do not bring us to the test
but deliver us from the evil one.’
“If you forgive others their wrongs, your Father in heaven will also forgive yours. If you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive you either.”
Has it ever struck you that in the Our Father (the pattern of all Christian Prayer) there is no mention of Jesus, his life, death, or resurrection, nor mention of any of the Christian mysteries? This absence indicates to me that it was his own prayer. In prayer, he was seized by one single awareness, the Father: he was not thinking about himself. When we pray the Our Father we are not praying to him, but with him; we are praying his prayer. We are so close to him that we do not see him! We (so to speak) inside his head looking out through his eyes and seeing, like him, only the Father. We are praying in him. All Christian praying is praying “in Christ.”
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