When we call on Our Father, we do so as brothers and sisters in Christ
Reflections on the readings for the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (July 28, 2019): GN 18:20-32; PS 138:1-2,2-3,6-7,7-8; COL 2:12-14; LK 11:1-13
MISSIO offers “Preaching Mission,” as a homily help, providing connections to mission from the readings of Sundays, Feast Days and Holy Days.
There are so many things in life we take for granted.
In the Gospel for today, we are reminded how many fundamental ideas are mentioned in the words of the prayer that we say so often that it may have lost meaning for us. It is the prayer that Jesus Himself taught at the request of his disciples. “He said to them, ‘When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test’” (Luke 11:2-4). Christ wanted all His followers to address to Almighty God as our Father, just as He does. We are called to honor God’s name – His whole being – for His limitless holiness, goodness and compassion and to ask that His kingdom of justice, mercy and peace truly exist within us and the whole world. The prayer invites us to put our trust in God by asking Him to fulfill our everyday needs. And it reminds us of the relationship between the way our generous Father forgives us and the way we forgive others. It also encourages us to put into His hands all the trials we experience, including those that may come at the end of our lives – and at the end of the world.
The prayer we know as the “Our Father” or the “Lord’s Prayer” is worth savoring each time we say it. And we should appreciate the use of the words us and our. This is meant to be a communal prayer, or at least one offered with the recognition that we are part of a community of faith. Since we are God’s sons and daughters, we are also brothers and sisters. We have a responsibility to support each other in our spiritual lives as well as to assist those in need with their material concerns, and to give personal and emotional encouragement to each other. We are all, in truth, the precious children of our Father.