A reader asked the following question:
I have a practically non-practicing Catholic friend who asked me how Jesus could have the phrase “and lead us not into temptation” included in the
perfect prayer. Why would God ever lead us there in the first place? It
got me to thinking and I didn’t know the proper answer. What do you say and what can we tell him? Thx and God bless.
I thought I might share my reply:
This particular petition in the Our Father is very different to translate into English. It can also be translated as “do not bring us to the time of trial” or “do not put us to the test”.
Don’t forget that Jesus came to bring the good news and salvation to sinners (tax collectors, prostitutes, etc.) While many began to lead a new life of discipleship, they knew themselves to be morally fragile. They therefore threw themselves before the mercy of the risen Jesus, knowing that they could never pass “the test/trial” of judgement.
To pray “lead us not into temptation” is therefore twofold: “Keep temptation far away from us, as we know we are weak, and if we should fall please remember your great promise of mercy and spare us.”
Any other insights from my readers?