The prayer of the children of God – Our Father – was par excellence at the Pope Francis Teaching Center at the General Audience on Wednesday. This great prayer, taught by Jesus himself, prepares us for Communion.
“Our Father” and the breaking of bread, as part of the Eucharistic Liturgy of the Divine Liturgy, was the subject of Pope Francis’ teaching at the General Audience on Wednesday.
The day of the blue sky and the temperature of 11 degrees Celsius allowed the traditional meeting to take place again in the São Pedro Square. Because of the rain and the large number of believers in the past two weeks, the Pope’s teaching had to be seen on screens by the audience inside St. Peter’s Basilica.
Francis began by explaining to the 14,000 believers in the square that the act of Jesus by taking the bread and the cup of wine, the thanksgiving and the breaking of bread, “consists in the Eucharistic liturgy of the Mass with the previous breaking of bread. With the prayer that the Lord taught us” Our Father. In this way we begin the ritual of communion.
But our Father – as the Pope affirmed – “is not one of the many Christian prayers, but the ‘Children of God’ prayer, the great prayer. It was Jesus who taught us the Father ”, because it makes ‘the same feelings of Jesus Christ’ resonate in us:
“When we pray our Father, we pray as Jesus prayed. It is the prayer that Jesus prayed and taught us (…). It is so nice to pray like Jesus!”
Reborn through Baptism We dare to address God calling Him ‘Father’.
In fact, “No one can familiarly call him a oppa, dad, Without being born by God, without the inspiration of the Spirit, as Saint Paul teaches:
“But, we must think: No one can call Him ‘Father’ without the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. But how often are there people who say ‘Our Father’ but they don’t know what they are saying. Because yes, He is the Father, but do you feel that when you say ‘Father’ He is the Father, your Father, the Father of mankind, the Father of Jesus Christ? Do you have a relationship with this Father? “Oh, no… I didn’t think about it.” When we pray our Father, we connect with the Father who loves us, but it is the Spirit that connects this, this The feeling that we are children of God.
Francis asks, “What better prayer than that which Jesus taught can move us into secret fellowship with him?” He replied, “Nothing!”
This same prayer is said in the morning and in the afternoon, in praise and vespers, so that “a filial attitude towards God and brotherhood with one’s neighbor contributes to giving a Christian shape to our days.”
When we pray to the Father, we ask for “enough bread,” we beg for “the forgiveness of our sins” and “in order to merit God’s forgiveness, we commit ourselves to forgiving those who have offended us”:
“And that is not easy, huh! Forgiving people who have offended us is not easy, it is a blessing that we must ask: ‘Lord, teach me to forgive as you have forgiven me.’ It is pleasant, huh! With our strength we cannot. It is the grace of the Holy Spirit to forgive.“.
Thus, by opening our hearts to God, “Our Father also prepares us for brotherly love.” We also ask God to “save us from the evil that separates us from Him and separates us from our brothers.” And all this prepares us to communicate.
What we ask in Our Father – continued the Holy Father – extends through the prayer of the priest, “who in the name of all pleads:” Deliver us, the Lord, from all evil and grant our days peace. “
gift of peace
Therefore, Christ is asked that the gift of his peace – which is different from the peace that the world gives – “makes the Church grow in unity and peace, according to his will”, and with a concrete sign, we greet one another, “expressing ecclesial communion and mutual love”.
“In the Roman rite – the pope explained – the greeting of peace, since antiquity before Communion, is ordained on the Eucharistic Communion”, because according to Paul’s warning, “the only bread that makes us one body cannot be transferred in Christ, without realizing that brotherly love calm them down.”
“The peace of Christ cannot take root in a heart that is unable to live fraternally and rebuild it after it has been wounded. Peace gives the Lord. The Lord also gives us the grace to forgive those who have offended us.”
The gesture of peace is followed by the “breaking of bread”, which since apostolic times gave the name to the whole celebration.
Referring to the incident of the disciples of Emmaus, Francis recalls that the gesture made by Jesus during the Last Supper to break bread “is a revealing gesture that allowed the disciples to recognize him after his resurrection.”
Lamb of God
The breaking of the Eucharistic Bread is accompanied by the “Lamb of God,” the image indicated by John the Baptist in Jesus, “the one who takes away the sin of the world.”
The Pope recalls that “the biblical image of the Lamb speaks of redemption.” And “in the Eucharistic Bread, broken for the life of the world, the praying congregation recognizes the true Lamb of God, that is, Christ the Redeemer, and entreats him: “Have mercy on us…give us peace.”
“Have mercy on us, grant us peace, are invocations, from the prayer of our Father to the breaking of bread, that help us to cast off our spirit to participate in the Eucharistic banquet, the source of communion with God and with our brothers and sisters.”
“Let us not forget the great prayer: that which Jesus taught and which is the prayer that he prayed to the Father. And this prayer prepares us for fellowship.”
In conclusion, Pope Francis invited the faithful present to pray with the Our Father.