… Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven …
Jesus has indeed taught us to pray.
And the prayer he gave us is rich, full of hope, mercy and direction. For example, Jesus wants us to live the Father’s will on earth exactly as it is in heaven.
It seems these words can just roll off our lips and become somewhat dulled by familiarity and even carelessness.
The question looms: “If we want to do his will on earth as it is in heaven, how is his will done in heaven?”
It seems we need to have some idea about this. Otherwise, exactly what are we asking for and pledging in prayer?
Consider the following:
- In heaven, there are no distractions, no temptations; there is only total union with God.
- Since God is whole, complete, One Being, he does not have “parts:” he is his love; he is his mercy and justice; he is his will.
- His will is no longer seen as something apart from ourselves; it is not extraneous from reality or rules imposed from above. When in heaven, we are totally one with and in God; his will is reality for us as well as for himself.
So, what does this mean to us as we strive to do God’s will in the here and now?
- To do God’s will is to be totally united to him. For Christians, this means being one with Christ. It means total surrender to Christ and to accept him as Lord and to follow him as the Way to the Father, the Truth of the Father, and the Life of God, the Holy Trinity.
- In a word, we must accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. Such acceptance, if genuine, leads the believer into the depth of Scripture, the life of communion with God in his Church, faithful reception of the sacraments, and personal prayer which prompts the believer to participate in the Eucharist and in ongoing study and reflection.
- This union with the Holy Trinity, in and through Christ, strengthens the believer in times of temptation—and it provides inspiration and actual grace to live one’s commitment to family, friends and the Church.
The Lord Jesus has not left us orphans. He sends us the Holy Spirit to inspire, form and guide us along the way.
We say that the kingdom will indeed come, but it is also here right now. The kingdom is now when we are faithful to God.
Then, when we close our eyes for the last time, we will already be in the embrace of God’s great and good will.