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Mass prep – 3 points/30 seconds: A third of the Lord’s Prayer is about forgiveness

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Fr. Paweł Rytel-Andrianik - published on 07/23/22

In its Greek original in the Gospel of Luke, the prayer contains 179 letters, 62 of which are words about forgiveness.

The Gospel for this Sunday is Luke 11:1-13

1. The most popular prayer in the world

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“Our Father,” or the Lord’s Prayer, is the most well-known payer in the world’s history. It is extremely important because Jesus himself taught it. It is short and profound.  

2. Key words

He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.”

Every single word of the “Our Father” is meaningful. Actually, every single letter is. In its Greek original in the Gospel of Luke, the prayer contains 179 letters, 62 of which are words about forgiveness. This means that as much as 34% of the Lord’s Prayer is about forgiving. 

Jesus knew the human being and knew that each of us needs God’s forgiveness. Apart from that, we need to forgive one another so that our life does not become a Gehenna on earth.  

Forgiveness is the thermometer of love. To love someone means to give them your life, your time, your emotions, your trust, etc. To forgive is yet another gift we can offer others. 

3. Today

A priest walking up to the altar in a prison chapel tripped and fell down. All those present burst out laughing. During that Holy Mass, the priest said: “You see, anyone can fall, but it is essential that we also rise.” Years later, one of the prisoners confessed that these precise words changed his life. 

Each of us can rise through the sacrament of reconciliation. In addition, there are three words that have great power: “please,”“thanks,” and “sorry.” The last word is especially useful in life, as evidenced by the Our Father prayer. 

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The photos in this article depict the Church of the Pater Noster in Jerusalem, on the slope of the Mount of Olives, where Jesus taught his disciples the Lord’s Prayer.

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