Lead us not into temptation

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When I was five years old, I went camping with my family and our cousins. We were close to a stream, so my uncle Fred placed a large stick on the bank with firm instructions not to cross it lest we fall in.

I was five, so I crossed the stick. And fell into the rushing water.

Obviously, I survived the incident, because my uncle was able to run down the valley and pull me out before I drowned.

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Serving the Lord

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Our thoughts today are on serving the Lord:

As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” — Joshua 24:15

Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Master, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.” — John 6:67-68

When we confess that we want God’s will to be done, this is exactly what it means. We will serve God, and we will serve others because that’s God’s will.

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Bread that came down from heaven

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Today we’re ending the readings called the “bread of life discourse” from the book of John. The Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith, and we’ll spend an entire lifetime learning what this means.

God’s only Son, the ever-eternal Christ, came to us as Jesus of Nazareth. He gave His body, His entire life, to have us join with God.

As an analytic engineer type, my natural question is: So how does THAT work? Well, I’ve decided this is the wrong question.

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The bread of life

How wonderfully appropriate that today’s readings focus on the Living Bread – which is of course our Lord Himself!

When we ask our Father for our daily bread, we could be thinking about bodily sustenance. And surely we do need food and drink to survive.

But Jesus has shown us that there’s something far more important than just survival of the body.

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Daily bread

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I’ve been told that the “daily bread” we’re asking for in the Lord’s Prayer, in the original, is actually a word that’s used exactly once in the Bible.

As a result, we may not have the translation right. That the meaning we’ve applied to it is more from tradition than from true knowledge.

So how do we know exactly what we’re asking God for in this prayer?

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Thy will

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These are the most powerful two words in my entire prayer life: Thy will.

It seems that my prayers tend to gravitate toward asking God for favors. Please make my world more comfortable. Please remove that obstacle.

Please fix that thing I screwed up.

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God our Father

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I strive to be a good father, I really do. But all the demons come out of the woodwork to point out my shortcomings and failings.

My goal, then, is to look to our ideal Heavenly Father, God Almighty, for inspiration and guidance.

God is all loving, but that doesn’t mean soft. We’ve mixed up the two concepts. Love, in fact, can sometimes feel harsh and rigid.

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