St. Luke’s version of the Lord’s Prayer is a little more spare than the version from St. Matthew’s Gospel and which we pray several times a day.
The first petition in Luke’s version is the lynch pin for the rest of the prayer. The request that “Your Kingdom come” signifies both our sure hope that Christ will come again, and a request that the Father will bless our efforts to build up his Kingdom on earth. The Catechism of the Catholic Church notes that “there is a hierarchy in this petition: we pray first for the Kingdom, then for what is necessary to welcome it and cooperate with its coming.
What is necessary for our cooperation forms the basis for the rest of our petitions to God. First, for daily bread, teaching us to recognize our dependence on God for both physical and spiritual sustenance. We express our longing for Jesus, who is himself the Bread of Life. His body and blood are necessary nourishment for welcoming the Kingdom.
Next we pray for forgiveness. In order to forgive others, we must first receive God’s mercy and forgiveness. Christ is the Prince of Peace. If we want to live in his Kingdom, we must seek to be at peace in our own hearts and with our neighbors.
Finally we pray for deliverance from the final trial. All of us will face judgment at the end of our lives and at the end of time. We pray that we will be ready when our time comes.
At the Lord’s Prayer helps us to speak to the Father, the rosary helps us to ask our Holy Mother for her assistance and intercession, assistance and intercession which see us through every day struggles. Our perfect mother, praying her most perfect prayers to God, who is our Father, for our sake.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator