OUR FATHER! The Lord's Prayer

The prayer as it occurs

in Matthew 6:9–13

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name.

Your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth, as it is in

heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us

our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And lead us not into

temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

The prayer as it occurs

in Luke 11:2–4

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 who is indebted

to us.

And lead us not into

temptation.

I had been exposed to the Lord’s prayer while attending school. This was a Catholic convent that I entered at age 3 and graduated at age 15 . The bachelor's degree in science was also obtained from a Catholic College in Madras. In school I was drawn to the singing of the nuns at lunchtime and in college I loved watching the Mass from above. Throughout the years however there was a prayer that was always a source of confusion for me. So now in the autumn of my life I am able to express this confusion this way. 

 

So here it goes as it was recited in my school.  This is followed by my reflections and comments. Mind you, my genetic love for the Divine is in no way detracted by this.

 

 

THE LORD'S PRAYER- The one prayer attributed to Jesus. I am surprised to see only one prayer in the entire Bible, as coming from who supposedly is the only Son of God.

 

OUR FATHER- If Jesus was convinced that he is the only son of God , he would have  said  MY FATHER. Then  " the only son of God"  would make sense. So this “ only son of God”  was possibly not what Jesus thought of himself and preached. 

I do have a query oh our Father, where is our Mother? 

 

WHO ART IN HEAVEN- Should I assume that this is the only place God inhabits ?

 

HALLOWED BE THY NAME- May your name be holy ! Can I not assume that holiness is the very nature of God ?  By the way which name ?

 

THY KINGDOM COME- Meaning it has not been established as yet.

 

THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN- Wow, this King is currently enjoying obedience only in Heaven. What a limitation?  Say how long does it take to expand His kingship over the earth? Are we the only ones fully cognizant of His will.

 

GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD- No problem as we do need sustenance on a daily basis and this is not so easy as so many factors are at play.

 

FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES AS WE FORGIVE THOSE THAT TRESPASS

 

AGAINST US- What arrogance and audacity on our part to take such an attitude towards the Creator. What it seems to say is , “ Sir, after all we forgive them so we do not see why You cannot forgive us. You are duty bound therefore to forgive us.”  

 

AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION- What a trickster He is,  if part of His job is  to lead us into temptation.  I am not guilty for what I did then, for it is You who lead me to it !

 

AND DELIVER US FROM EVIL- You know that we humans are stuck in evil. Our  actions to rescue ourselves  by  rehabilitation and transformation of  our  nature do not matter. Only You can do anything to save us. I am so helpless as far as my behavior is concerned.

 

AMEN

 

In my search to resolve this confusion I had researched into the original prayer which they say is in the language that Jesus spoke, that is Aramaic.  I was hoping for a more sensible rendition of this prayer there. After studying translations of the Aramaic prayer, I found myself in the same spot. Alas, I realized that it was my foolishness to expect anything profound.  The Aramaic prayer only substantiated my understanding that here was a prayer indicative of a culture whose relationship to God was rather primitive in nature. Surprised and very sad to think that this attitude still continues to this day even among the educated,  in so blind a fashion.

 

End result- I am no longer confused. 

 

April 2014

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