Such a battle and such a victory become possible only
through prayer. It is by his prayer that Jesus vanquishes the
tempter, both at the outset of his public mission and in the ultimate
struggle of his agony.
In this petition to our heavenly Father,
Christ unites us to his battle and his agony. He urges us to
of the heart in communion with his own. Vigilance is “custody of
the heart,” and Jesus prayed for us to the Father: “Keep them in
The Holy Spirit constantly seeks to awaken us to
Finally, this petition takes on all its dramatic mean
ing in relation to the last temptation of our earthly battle; it asks for
“Lo, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is he who
The last petition to our Father is also included in Jesus’
prayer: “I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I
ask you to protect them from the evil one.”
It touches each of us
personally, but it is always “we” who pray, in communion with the
whole Church, for the deliverance of the whole human family. The
Lord’s Prayer continually opens us to the range of God’s economy
of salvation. Our interdependence in the drama of sin and death is
turned into solidarity in the Body of Christ, the “communion of
In this petition, evil is not an abstraction, but refers to a
person, Satan, the Evil One, the angel who opposes God. The devil
) is the one who “throws himself across” God’s plan and
his work of salvation accomplished in Christ.
“A murderer from the beginning, . . . a liar and the father
of lies,” Satan is “the deceiver of the whole world.”
him sin and death entered the world and by his definitive defeat
all creation will be “freed from the corruption of sin and death.”
Now “we know that anyone born of God does not sin, but He who
was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.
13:9, 23, 33-37; 14:38;
Eucharistic Prayer IV, 122.