He was praying in a certain place, and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread; and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive every one who is indebted to us; and lead us not into temptation.”
The Lord’s Prayer, prayed today wherever Christians are present in the world, gives us a unique access to God and unites us as children of the same Father.
By invoking God as Father, the distance to God is overcome and God invites us into a relationship of love and trust! From the very first word, this prayer creates a spiritual and family communion between human beings and God, and in human beings among themselves. We are children of the same Father!
In the light of this new access to God that Christ offers us, we can also understand the first words of today’s Gospel. We don’t need many words; we don’t have to convince God of our needs and intentions; we don’t have to tell Him about them as if they were new to Him. It is not the quantity of words, but the intimacy with God and the trust in our Father that enables us to recognise the open door of God’s Heart.
Our Father knows what we need! How much comfort and freedom these words give us! We can overcome all the tensions in our lives, all the anxious worries about things and about securing our own “self “. The Father knows what we need!
In the Our Father, Jesus invites us to ask for the basic and essential things of our existence.
May the name of God be hallowed…. Certainly, this petition does not only refer to the personal dimension, because the reign of God is not only intended for the private sphere of the human soul, where some ideological movements would like to reduce it, but the loving sovereignty of God embraces all spheres, without exception! Not even hell could exist without the existence of God!
The sanctification of God’s name happens when we live in a way that glorifies God; when we affirm His existence even in the public arena; when we earnestly seek to respond to the Lord’s demand by living according to His commandments.
The commandments of the Lord are wise and they are the basis of all human life. This is what God intended for our good, and by recognising this truth and acting upon it, we sanctify His name.
In the little book “The Father speaks to His children”, which records the revelation of God the Father to Mother Eugenia Ravasio, we can read these words: “If all mankind invokes and honours Me, I will bring down upon it the spirit of peace like a benevolent dew. If all nations, as such, invoke and honour Me, there will be no more discord, nor wars, because I am the God of peace and where I am, there no war can be.”
May these words penetrate our soul, with all their meaning!
There is a way for people to live together in peace, and this way is related to the knowledge and sanctification of the Name of God!
We see, then, that the Lord’s Prayer, already in its first sentences, opens up an enormous horizon for us. Recognising and confessing God as Father has its effects: His dominion is erected in us!
By our surrender to the Father, we are sanctifying His Name, and by confessing Him publicly, we help His Kingdom to grow in the public sphere as well. In this way, we cooperate in bringing about that peace which only God can grant. Even if our outward influence is not very noticeable, every work that glorifies God and sanctifies His Name is of incalculable value.
In prayer we can embrace the whole world!