03/14/2018, 13.38
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Pope: the Our Father is not one of many prayers, but the prayer God’s children

In the "great prayer that Jesus taught us", in which we also implore "the remission of our sins", and "to be worthy to receive God's forgiveness we commit ourselves to forgive those who have offended us. And this is not easy, It is a grace that we must ask for: Lord, teach me to forgive as you have forgiven me ".

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The Our Father, "the great prayer, the one that Jesus taught us", "is not one of the many Christian prayers, but the prayer of the children of God", prayer that "makes those who resonate in us, the same sentiments that were in Christ Jesus. When we pray the Our Father, we pray as Jesus prayed". Continuing the general audience catechesis on the Mass, Pope Francis spoke today of the "Our Father" and of the breaking of the Bread.

20 thousand people were present in Saint Peter's Square to hear the Pope recall that in the Eucharistic liturgy the "breaking of the bread" corresponds to the gesture of Jesus who at the Last Supper "broke the bread". "Thus begin the rites of Communion, prolonging the praise and supplication of the Eucharistic Prayer with the community recitation of the 'Our Father'. This is not one of the many Christian prayers, but the prayer of the children of God. Jesus taught it to us. In fact, he delivered it to us on the day of our Baptism, the 'Our Father' resounds in us those same sentiments that were in Christ Jesus. When we pray the Our Father, we pray as Jesus prayed”.

"Formed to his Divine teaching, we dare to turn to God calling him 'Father', because we are reborn as His children through water and the Holy Spirit (cf. Ephesians 1: 5). No one, in truth, could call him familiarly 'Abba' without having been generated by God, without the inspiration of the Spirit, as St. Paul teaches (cf. Rom 8:15). But how often people the Our Father without really realizing what they are saying. 'But do you feel that when you say the Our Father, we are praying to the father of humanity?' Ah no, I did not think about it that way'".

"In the Lord's Prayer we ask for "our daily bread ", in which we see a particular reference to the Eucharistic Bread, which we need to live as children of God. We also implore "the forgiveness of our sins", and to be worthy to receive the forgiveness of God we commit ourselves to forgive those who have offended us. And this is not easy, it is a grace that we must ask: Lord, teach me to forgive as You have forgiven me. Thus, while it opens our hearts to God, the 'Our Father' also provides us with fraternal love. Finally, we ask God again to "free us from evil" that separates us from Him and divides us from our brothers. We understand well that these are very suitable requests to prepare us for Holy Communion (cf. General Order of the Roman Missal, 81). In fact, what we ask in the 'Our Father' is prolonged by the prayer of the priest who, in the name of all, implores: "Deliver us, O Lord, from all evil, grant peace in our day". And then he receives a sort of seal in the rite of peace: he invokes Christ for the gift of His peace (cf. Jn 14: 27) - so different from that of the world – to make the Church grow in unity and peace according to His will; then, with the concrete gesture exchanged among us, we express "ecclesial communion and mutual love, before communicating the Sacrament" (OGMR, 82). In the Roman rite the exchange of the sign of peace, placed since ancient times before Communion, is ordered to Eucharistic communion. According to the warning of St. Paul, it is not possible to communicate the One Bread that makes us One Body in Christ, without recognizing oneself pacified by fraternal love (cf. 1 Cor 10: 16-17; 11: 29). The peace of Christ cannot take root in a heart incapable of living fraternity and of rebuilding it after having wounded it. Peace is given by the Lord and the Lord also gives us the grace to forgive ".

"The sign of peace is followed by the Breaking of the Bread, which since apostolic times gave its name to the entire celebration of the Eucharist (cf. OGMR, 83; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1329). Made by Jesus during the Last Supper, breaking the Bread is the revealing gesture that allowed the disciples to recognize him after his resurrection. Let us remember the disciples of Emmaus, who, speaking of the encounter with the Risen One, told "how they had recognized him in the breaking of the bread" (cf. Lk 24,30-31.35) ".

"The breaking of the Eucharistic Bread is accompanied by the invocation of the" Lamb of God ", a figure with which John the Baptist indicated in Jesus" he who takes away the sin of the world "(Jn 1:29). The biblical image of the lamb speaks of redemption (cf. Ex 12: 1-14; Is 53,7; 1 Pt 1,19; Ap 7,14). In the Eucharistic Bread, broken for the life of the world, the prayerful assembly recognizes the true Lamb of God, that is Christ the Redeemer, and begs him: "Have mercy on us ... grant us peace". "Have mercy on us", "grant us peace" are invocations that, from the prayer of the 'Our Father' to the Breaking of the Bread, help us to dispose our mind to participate in the Eucharistic banquet, a source of communion with God and with our brothers. Let us not forget the great prayer that Jesus taught us ".

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