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Friends, our Gospel today gives us an opportunity to reflect on the Lord’s Prayer, the prayer for the Christian journey. I want to consider three of the prayer’s petitions.

“Father, hallowed be your name.” We’re not implying that God should make his name holy (as though it isn’t); we’re praying that we might make it holy for us, that God might be honored above all. Everything else in the spiritual life flows from this prioritization.

“Your Kingdom come.” God’s kingdom refers to God’s way of ordering things. Jesus’ teaching and his manner of life give us a very good idea of what this kingdom would look like: peace, nonviolence, forgiveness, healing, walking the path of compassion. 

“Forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us.” How central to the teaching of Jesus is forgiveness. And how central to the suffering of the world is the incapacity to forgive, both on the smallest, most intimate level and on the grandest scale. 

How wonderful and how deeply challenging that at the very heart of the prayer that the Son of God taught us is a petition to be given the grace to forgive.