The Our Father & Pope Francis’ Suggested Change
When I read about the Pope’s suggested change from: “lead us not into temptation” to “God help us not to fall into temptation,” made sense to me and I even began to incorporate this change when I prayed the Our Father.
Last week in preparing for my Homily for the first Sunday of Lent specifically Mark’s gospel regarding The Temptation of Jesus I found a few reasons why it should remain in its original content. They are:
The Jewish thought at the time of Jesus was that whenever a person received in honor, testing or temptation followed. In understanding the first verse of Mark’s gospel we had to look back to Jesus’ Baptism, when the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove and a voice from the cloud said: “this is my beloved Son in whom I am very well pleased.” This certainly was an honor and according to Jewish thought temptation would follow.
In our baptism we also received a great honor: in our baptism we died with Christ so that we can also live with Christ forever and eternal life. I looked upon this as an honor and keeping with the Jewish thought temptation would follow.
Jesus overcame the temptations because God was present with him in his humanity with the angels ministering to him. In our temptation God is with us too. Remember, Jesus’ great temptation when he asked the Father if this cup could pass from him but not his will but God’s will be done. What happened? God sent an angel to strengthen Him.
As I looked at the results that happen to us when we are tempted and that they were positive and strengthened our relationship with God, temptation made sense to me.
Temptation helps us to detach ourselves from the things of this earth and focus on God.
Temptation helps us to develop a more ardent desire to be with God in heaven.
When we are tempted we become disturbed by temptation and see the danger of committing sin which disappoints God and overcoming temptation shows our love for God.
It renews our determination to avoid sin and not to offend God.
St. Augustine says:
“Our pilgrimage cannot be exempt from trial we progress by means of trial no one knows themselves except through trial or receives a crown except after victory or strives against an enemy temptations.
If in Christ we have been tempted, in Christ we overcame the devil. Do you think only of Christ’s temptations and fail to think of his victory? See yourself as tempted in Christ, and see yourself as victorious in Christ. He could have kept the devil from Himself but if Jesus was not tempted he could not teach us how to triumph over temptation.”
In our Baptism we received the strength of the Holy Spirit to overcome temptation and the graces we need for eternal life.
God has given us the gifts and graces we need, now it’s up to us to use them.
God Bless – Deacon Steve