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Lectionary 463 : Luke’s Prayer


Lectionary 463.Oct.8. Scripture: Galatians 2:1-2,7-14.  Psalm 117:1.2. Luke 11:1-4:

“Lord, teach us to pray.”  One of Jesus disciples asked him how to pray;  his own first master may have been John the Baptist, so he wanted to know how he as a follower of the Lamb of God, Jesus, would pray.  Jesus gives us the short prayer that we know so well as the “Our Father, the Pater Noster, the Lord’s Prayer.” There are two versions of it in the Gospel, one from Matthew and the second from Luke probably in the chronology of 80 A.D. and 85 A.D. from these two evangelists.  Matthew has seven petitions which are more future oriented and looking to the ultimate goal or being with God in the kingdom; this is a more pronounced eschatological prayer.

Luke’s shorter version is in the direct and simple address to the Father without the Jewish protection of the Father who is in heaven and whose named is hallowed.  Luke concentrates on the present in his five petitions.  We, however, use the longer form of Matthew in the liturgy of the Eucharist just before Communion and twice during the day after the petitions in the Liturgy of the Hours knows as Lauds or Morning Praise and at Evensong or Vespers after the intercessions before the closing prayer.

In praying the Lord’s Prayer from Luke it is quite direct with the address, “Father,” and then the five petitions. This would be more a prayer coming from a Gentile than a Jew.

Several early writers found an added petition or theme in that of Luke which is helpful for our consideration.  It reads, “May the Holy Spirit come upon us and cleanse us.”  The gift of prayer and the person of the Holy Spirit are important themes in the Gospel of Luke and his second work the Acts of the Apostles.

When we come to the petition about bread, Luke has the prayer meaning that we have this bread each day, please, give it to us.  It may have both a meaning for the ordinary daily bread for sustenance or the Eucharistic bread  become the Body of Christ. Amen.


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