Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This is how you should pray: Our Father…
Most religions share a common desire to reach the divine reality. Pagans attempt to reach it though their imagination alone. Christians reached it through interaction with the God who became not only a man, but more importantly our brother and our Father. This interaction continues today through prayer. (G.K. Chesterton)
When a Jewish child is born, his father will take hold of him and whisper in his ear this prayer: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength…” When a Christian child is born, his father should take hold of him and whisper in his ear: "Our Father...." This is our prayer par excellence because it best identifies who we truly are. It is the first prayer that many children learn. We should say it often because the Lord said it, used it and prayed it, and we should do the same. What is striking, absolutely unique, about this prayer is the beginning…Our Father.
Even at the age of thirty-three, the Lord continued to refer to His Father as daddy. And although the Lord grew in wisdom, strength and age, his heart remained like that of a child and his will remained like that of steel!
Today, during Mass, I asked the children if they remembered in Scripture when Jesus cried. One child said, “While he was being crucified.” Another, “While he was being beaten.” Another, “When he saw his mother.” No. No. No. Finally, one child said, “When his best friend died.” Correct! And maybe that is a lesson for all of us too. Just like the Lord, maybe the only time we should ever cry is when we lose someone we love due to death, and when lose someone we love due to sin.
The Lord hardly ever cried because he learned to trust in His daddy. One of the reasons why we cry a lot is because we never really learn to trust in our parents or in our Father, our big daddy. How did Jesus learn to trust? The hard way. He learned to trust by going out into the desert for forty days and forty nights. He learned to trust by praying incessantly and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide his every word, every decision, and every move. He learned to trust by handing over his work, his life to his Heavenly Father; by saying over and over again, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” And while he learned to trust, he also learned how to live, persevere and die.
Our Father. God is our Father. Creation is His glorious work and man is his masterpiece. There can be no Father without a Mother, and Mary is our beloved mother – not nature! In fact, nature should not even be referred to as nature but rather as creation since its only purpose is to provide for the Father’s masterpiece. The “Our Father” places all things in their proper place, starting with God in Heaven! All glory, all praise and worship to Him alone!
Thy Kingdom Come, thy Will be done. It is amazing what billions and billions of tiny rain drops can do: bring life on earth. It is amazing what the Word of God can do: bring life to the sinner. It is amazing what the Saints in Heaven can do: pray for all God’s children. God’s word, God’s people “shall not return to Him void.” (Is 55:10-11) Give us this bread that came down from Heaven! Give us forgiveness that comes down from Heaven, and lead us not into temptation that comes from below!
Do what your Father in Heaven does. We know how to love because Christ taught us. We know how to forgive because Christ showed us. We know how to live because Christ is alive and well. Do as the Father does, allow Heaven to reign on earth. Allow Him to call you by name! Allow heaven to touch earth. Allow God to be God, and to shower His creation with His love and Holy Spirit. Allow the Lord to bear fruit in all his creation and in all His children.
Do not be like the others, who live and work for their own petty kingdoms!