Tuesday of the First Week of Lent

Today’s readings

The prophet Isaiah and Jesus speak today about the great power of words. Isaiah speaks specifically of the power of God’s word, a word that will not return empty but will go out and accomplish the purpose for which God sent it. We see the word that the prophets speaks of here, of course as the Word – with a capital “W.” That Word is Jesus Christ who comes to accomplish the salvation of the world, the purpose of God ever since the world’s creation.

And it is that Word Jesus Christ who takes the pagans to task for babbling with many words. Our relationship with God is one to be accomplished with few words, measured words, words with purpose. The prayer that Jesus gives us today, the classic prayer that echoes in our hearts in good times and in bad, is a prayer with a specific purpose in mind. That prayer, if we pray it rightly, puts us right in the presence of God’s mercy. It recognizes that God’s holiness will bring about a Kingdom where his will will be done in all of creation. It begs God’s forgiveness and begs also that we too would become a forgiving and merciful people, just as God is merciful to us. Finally, it asks for help with temptation and evil, something we struggle with every day.

Today’s readings are nothing short of a plea that God’s will would finally be done. That his Word would go forth and accomplish God’s purpose. That his will would be done on earth as in heaven. As we pray those familiar words, they can often go past us without catching our attention. But we are called to pray them today that God’s will would be accomplished in every place, starting with in our own lives.

Because to God belongs the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.