Praying with Jesus, Part 3

25 Nov

To get into the depth of the Lord’s Prayer it is helpful to reflect on the mind and heart of Jesus. In my last blog, we spoke of the mystery of Jesus true God and true man. We reflected on him praying “Our Father” and tried to discern the reality of heaven-here-and-now, of what and where heaven really is.

In this reflection, let’s look at more of the Lord’s Prayer.  

… holy is your name: When I call my friend by his name, I am claiming both intimacy and a degree of ownership – ownership because I know that I can rely on my friend to help and encourage me; and my friend can rely on the same from me.

The Hebrews did not call God by name. It was deemed impossible to name God because it intimated a certain equality and ownership. But Jesus comes and he tells us to call God our Father, our Abba, our Dad.

So, if we can name God, does that in any way belittle him or make us equal to him? No, it does not. His name is holy because his name is himself. We can’t partition God. He is who and what he is, whole and entire, pure spirit, pure holiness and magnificence.

To call him Father or Abba is to speak his essence. It is to honor his holiness because, in so naming him, we speak the truth: He is indeed our Father and our Abba. He sent his Son into the world to convince us that he wants us to be one with him, intimate with him and with one another in him.

… your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven: God’s kingdom comes into our hearts and into society when we know, observe and do his will. Is it at all possible to pray “thy kingdom come” and merely look to the Second Coming of Jesus? I think not. Our Church teaches us that we need to enter into God’s kingdom right now – into his will, his grace and into the salvation won by Jesus.

Our Catholic Faith is so rich. We have God’s word and all the sacraments. We have the Mass which enables us to enter personally into the salvation won by Jesus. Here, in the Mass, is the fullness of God’s kingdom made present through the grace and power of the Holy Spirit.

… give us this day our daily bread: Life is too rushed for so many individuals and families. Meals are too often taken on the fly, mixed with business or other concerns. It seems rare that people can sit down to a meal and just eat, grateful for the food they have, for the love of family and friends.

I wonder how many of us actually thank God for the food we eat, for the snacks between meals. Perhaps we take so much for granted, or perhaps we think this daily food comes solely from our own work and efforts.

I recall a story of a U. S. priest in Dominican Republic for mission work with several American teenagers and one local youth as a guide. After a hard day’s work, the priest bought a Coke for each of the boys.

The Americans began to gulp down their drinks, but the local boy took his drink, rushed outside and called his friends with whom he shared the Coke.

The young guide knew the gift he was receiving and his sharing was indeed an act of thanksgiving.

And do we take one another for granted? Do we express gratitude to God for our spouse, children, parish and friends?

… and forgive us as we forgive others: Our next and final reflection in this series.

 

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