Thursday, June 20, 2019

Thursday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time

(II Corinthians 11:1-11; Matthew 6:7-15)

The story of Job illustrates an important point in the Our Father.  Job is a rich man who pleases God.  Satan, who in the story is part of the heavenly court, believes that Job is faithful because things go his way.  God then allows Satan to test job.  He loses in a flash his property, his family, and his health.  He is tempted to curse God for his misfortune but doesn’t.

In the standard form of the Our Father, we pray, “Lead us not into temptation.”  We are asking God not to have us tempted like Satan tempted Job.  Pope Francis does not like the wording, however, because it can imply something different.  It sounds like God might tempt someone like a drug lord tempts youth to sell drugs for large commissions.  The pope has reportedly approved a translation which says, “Do not let us fall into temptation.” 

It is not likely that the pope’s translation will gain much traction.  The standard prayer is so well established that people will have great difficulty uttering different words.  The real problem is not so much the present wording, which have a legitimate meaning.  Rather the problem is that we do not listen to what we are saying when we pray the Our Father.  We do not tune into the words that Jesus himself has offered us for our salvation.