The daily Gospel reading from the Mass for Thursday of the 11th Week of Ordinary Time is Matthew 6:7-15.

After condemning conspicuous piety and teaching men the appropriate way to pray, fast and give alms in the the Sermon on the Mount, Christ now gives men the glorious Lord’s Prayer. In preparation, Christ first condemns the mindless prayer of those who babble many words, ignorantly trying to appeal to their many gods with the hope of uttering a prayer that might be heard.

Assuring that God the Father knows what men need to give them confidence in prayer, Christ instructs men in the Lord’s Prayer so men may pray with right hearts and successfully petition God. Beginning with the communal, Our Father, Christ affirms the need for fraternity and for brothers to pray to God as the Heavenly hallowed Father who’s will is to be done.

Christ emphasizes man’s dependence on the Father in daily life, for salvation and for protection against Satan (the Evil One). He teaches that men are totally dependent on God for daily bread, including bodily nourishment (i.e. every day food) and spiritual nourishment (i.e. the supernatural bread of the Eucharist). A stunning call to perfection, Christ reveals that God will forgive men their trespasses in the same way that men forgive the trespasses of other men; men are not forgiven who do not first forgive other men.

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ authoritatively asserts that God is to be addressed as “Father” and with special divine omniscience reveals that men must forgive if they hope for God to forgive them.  Almighty King, Christ denounces false prayer, commands men to pray the Our Father, holds men to the incredible standard of forgiveness and warns of the Evil One (Satan).

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) Jesus Christ, the Almighty King, taught men how to pray 2000 years ago; billions continue to pray the Lord’s Prayer.  Be awed by the Son of God’s life-changing impact on the daily behaviors of billions of people across time.

2) Christ emphasizes prayer through His preaching and His own prayer life.  He specifically asserts the Our Father is at the at the center of a man’s prayer life. Commit to grow in understanding of the Our Father (CCC 2759-2865) and to pray it every single day.

3) As Christ teaches the Lord’s Prayer to the disciples (Luke 11:1-4), the very first word is the collective “Our”, underscoring the critical importance that Christ places on fraternity in prayer among men. Renew your understanding of the importance of Catholic Fraternity (CCC 361, 1931,1939-1942) and commit to seek out other Catholic men to build fraternity, strengthening each other, like “iron sharpens iron” (Prov 27:17).

Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers

Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Luminous Mysteries

Daily Devotion – The Holy Eucharist

Virtue of the Day – Fortitude

Corporal Work of Mercy – To shelter the homeless

Spiritual Work of Mercy – To bear wrongs patiently