God does not tempt us to sin

the lord’s prayer or “our father” is often the first prayer that a christian– generally as a child– will memorize. i cannot remember a time when i did not know it. in catholic liturgy, we still use old english words (art=are; hallowed =holy; thy=your.) this version of the prayer is deeply ingrained in us. old habits are hard to break!

in a 2017 book by pope francis, he wrote about one key phrase– matthew 6: 13– from the english translation of the “our father”

growing up in argentina, the pope himself learned the phrase as “no nos dejes caer en tentation” which is literally, “do not allow us to fall in temptation.” being a good jesuit and relying on solid scholarship, pope francis is spot on with this commentary. we fall when tempted; we ask the Father to help us NOT fall in these situations.

another sense of matthew 6: 13 is more theological and less personal: the new american bible revised edition has the phrase: “do not subject us to the final test.” this footnote is given: “Jewish apocalyptic writings speak of a period of severe trial before the end of the age, sometimes called the ‘messianic woes.’ This petition asks that the disciples be spared that final test.”

it is up to each country’s bishop conference to make any liturgical changes for the people that they serve. so we will wait to see what happens.

as for me, since i have been presiding so many masses in spanish over the years, i have internally adopted the flow and sense of “do not allow us to fall in temptation.” indeed, God does not lead us into temptation.

what do you think? isn’t this change more consistent with a God of love that the Father help us when we are tempted?


here is matthew 6: 9-13

“This is how you are to pray:

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread;

and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors;

and do not subject us to the final test,

but deliver us from the evil one.

1 Comment

  1. Nancy Plurad says:

    You are right, Father Art. Old habits are hard to break so I am sure that God will not mind if i say the same old prayer. In my youth, we could tell that someone was a Protestant if they used “debts/debtors” instead of “trespassers” when saying the Lord’s Prayer.


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