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God our Father

Oct 8, 2014 | [post_view] Views

Brooklyn_Museum_-_The_Lord's_Prayer_(Le_Pater_Noster)_-_James_Tissot
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Wednesday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

 

READINGS

First Reading: GAL 2:1-2, 7-14

Responsorial Psalm:  PS 117:1BC, 2

Gospel: LK 11:1-4

 

Homily

The Jewish patriarchal society provides us with a good background of the prayer Jesus taught His disciples, especially about calling God our Father.

In this society, only men can occupy a position of authority in the family and in the community. The father in the family holds authority over women and children who live under the shadow of the head of the family. Moreover, male children are identified by their father’s name and reputation. Let me cite some examples from the Bible. The apostles James and John are identified as sons of Zebedee. In Aramaic the name Barabbas (Matthew 27:16-21) comes from two words “bar”means son and “abbas” means father. He is “son of somebody” who is unknown. It is just saying that he is nobody, a notorious robber at that whose identity leans on his father. Another example is Jesus Himself. He is called Jesus, son of Joseph, the carpenter in John 6:42, or son of David in Luke 18:38. And Joseph, son of David in Mt. 1:20.

The father, with his authority, takes care of his family, provides for his needs, protects them from any harm and gives a name and social acceptance to his children and wife. When Jesus taught His disciples how to pray calling God our Father is saying that by this prayer they are submitting themselves to the authority of God. More than our earthly fathers, God our Father never fails to provide for His children,  gives them their daily bread, forgives their offences unconditionally, protects them from any harm and temptation of the evil one.

By teaching us this prayer, Jesus brings us to a covenant relationship with God, a covenant that makes us part of the Divine Family, with God as our Father. Our identity then leans on the name of God. We will be known as sons and daughters of God our Father.  The Lord’s Prayer then is a prayer of God’s children who submit themselves under His Divine authority.

 

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Image credit: en.wikipedia.org

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