We are more familiar with the form of the Lord’s Prayer found in Matthew 6:9-13. Luke’s succinct wording, however, makes clear the essentials of the prayer of Jesus. God is addressed as “Father”. In a sense, this says all. Jesus came that we may know the mercy and generosity of His Father who is ready to give nothing less than the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him. God must be given all honor, and God’s “kingdom”, or reign, will certainly come – whether we pray for these things or not. In making these petitions we are really asking that we, and all who share our world, may play our part in its fulfillment. We are encouraged to pray for “our daily bread” –- in the ups and downs of our life we can place our trust in the Father who watches over us. And the prayer ends in a realistic note. We acknowledge our sinfulness, confident that we shall be forgiven, because we have learned the Father’s ways, and are ready ourselves to forgive. Finally, whatever lies ahead, we put ourselves in God’s care.


   The Gospel passage describes how Martha, a true child of Abraham, wanted to extend the traditional generous hospitality of her people to Jesus, the true Messiah, by preparing an elaborate meal for Him and the disciples, while her sister Mary spent her time talking and listening to Him. Presenting Martha as a dynamo of action and Mary as a true listener to the word of God, today’s Gospel invites us to serve others with Martha’s diligence after recharging our spiritual batteries everyday by prayer – listening and talking to God – as Mary did. We are able to minister truly to the needs of others only after welcoming God’s Word into our hearts and minds.