Editor’s Note: The following is part of Millennial Lenten Reflections, a blog series in collaboration with Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good. Short reflections on the day’s readings, written by young adults from FMS and other organizations, will be posted everyday throughout Lent.
Today’s gospel gives us the Lord’s Prayer. A staple of Christian tradition, the Lord’s Prayer can be a comfortable balm, words that flow easily and effortlessly off the tongue. Having repeated the words countless times in our lives, the Lord’s Prayer is like the macaroni-and-cheese of prayer; a comfortable go-to.
Several years ago, I kept a little envelope pinned next to my front door. Each day, upon leaving, I drew a slip of paper, each of which had one line of the Lord’s Prayer. That randomly selected line served as my meditation and inspiration for the day.
In this format, I began to recognize just how challenging the words of this prayer could be.
It was difficult to live in the daily spirit of “thy will be done,” when I usually spend much of my day focused on what I want. In the abstract, the line “as we forgive those who trespass against us” resonates with me, but it was hard to take to heart while getting cut off on the freeway.
Sometimes we need the comfort of familiarity washing over us; other times we are called to stretch ourselves. Today’s gospel gives us both, in one prayer.
Jenny Heipp is a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at Washington University in Saint Louis.