Our Father - Family Reflection Video
The most well-known, radiant, and profound prayer ever proposed comes directly from the lips of Jesus Himself when His disciples ask Him to teach them how to pray. It proclaims that God is our Father. We are His family. His Kingdom is coming. God provides. God is merciful. He calls us to be merciful to others. It is a prayer that seeks God’s help in avoiding the temptation to sin and in keeping far from evil.
How does Jesus begin? With the word “Our"—not “My”—Father. He wants us to know how much our prayer is strengthened by joining with others. No wonder He says, "where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I," (Mt. 18:20). The family that prays together stays together.
First, Jesus tells us to pray to “Our Father,” an intimate and familial word for our relationship with the all-powerful God who created us. "Who art in Heaven." God’s fullness and glory are disclosed in Heaven, in a reality that we do not now experience. “Hallowed be Thy name." Your name is revered, respected, blessed, sacred, hallowed. "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." May Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven. Here is a confident prayer that the fullness of glory and God’s reign will spread upon earth, and we can cooperate with God’s grace in making that happen.
I think the most intriguing petition is the one that leads the second part of this prayer: "Give us this day our daily bread." What is our "daily bread"? It is the food we need to sustain us. Without food we cannot live! But it is also more. The Greek word is epiousios, which means our superabundant and supernatural bread.
These are powerful words to profess, and as we pray them, we strengthen our faith and our relationship with God. It helps if we think about these words as we pray them, and then wait and listen to what we hear from Him. Our prayer then becomes a conversation, a dialogue in which we grow in intimacy with the One who created us in His love and goodness.
As we continue with the Eucharistic celebration, may we be mindful not only of the words, but also of God speaking to us. May this sacred time of prayer nourish us with His abundant love and renew our relationship with Him.
Father Willy's inspirational homily was recorded live this morning during Mass at the Father Peyton Center. Please view the video on our Facebook page. (You don't need a Facebook account to view.)
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About Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C.
Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C. is President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. He entered Holy Cross Fathers in 1964. He earned a Bachelors in Philosophy from Stonehill College in 1967 and a Masters in Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 1971. In addition to English, Father Willy is conversant in French and Spanish. He's a native of Old Town, Maine and one of 12 children. He remains a diehard fan of the Boston Red Sox, even though he has served as Chaplain for the Los Angeles Dodgers.