By Archbishop Michael Jackels
The Eucharistic Prayer is followed by the part of the Mass called the Communion Rite.
It is made up of the Our Father, the Sign of Peace, the commingling, and the Breaking of the Bread. Some scholars suggest that the Our Father is made up of individual prayers stitched together into one.
It begins by addressing God as Father, which we would only dare do because Jesus tells us we are God’s children, and because the Holy Spirit puts the word in our mouths.
After calling God, Father, we add a version of a typical middle-eastern phrase – blessed be his name – that is said in reference to the person just mentioned.
The petition about God’s kingdom coming is a prayer to introduce God into day-to-day life, and vice-versa, removing the boundaries between heaven and the world.
One way to live in God’s kingdom, and remove the boundaries between heaven and the world, is to do God’s will – where God’s will is done, there is the very stairway to heaven.
We ask God for daily bread, acknowledging our dependence on God for what we need to live with dignity, but also for spiritual food, such as the word of God and Holy Communion.
We beg for forgiveness, remembering the teaching of Jesus that we will receive from God according to the measure we use to give to others: generously forgive others, receive a like measure from God.
Finally, we ask God for the strength not to give into the temptation to sin that comes from the evil one, the devil, who wants to trip us up and make us to fall into sin.
God can give the help to resist temptation, and God will give mercy when we fall and are sorry.