The WORD in Other Words by Fr John Seland SVD (Japan)
Thursday Week 11 OT, 2 Cor 11:1-11, Mt 6:7-15
After Jesus advised the disciples not to babble like the pagans, he told them how they ought to pray. The “Our Father,” is a brief way of praising God; it acknowledges our dependency on Him as our Father who is holy and who loves us and provides for us each day of our life.
The prayer can also be seen as a summary of Jesus‘ entire life. The word ‘our is in recognition of Jesus‘ aim to unite people as God‘s one family. The same is true of the word “Father.” In John‘s Gospel, Chapter 6, Jesus repeatedly refers to God as “my Father.”
When we act out what Jesus suggests in the prayer, we sincerely offer God praise and honor: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven.” Thus, Jesus tells us to imitate the way the angels and saints act in heaven where they continuously praise God by carrying out His will, whatever that might be.
Jesus tells us in the next part of the prayer that we should ask the Father to “give us today our daily bread” referring to all that we need in our daily life, and the nourishment we receive in the Eucharist.
The final petitions are also ways of honoring God. We forgive those who offend is and we do our best to avoid whatever is evil
The key word of the prayer is “holy.” Jesus asks us to be as holy as our Father in heaven is holy. This gives us a definite goal in life. We can hone every thought, every word, and every action to such an extent that we become, like Jesus, a living image of our loving Father and a Iiving reflection of His truth, His love, and His goodness.