Scripture today features the greatest of all prayers, the our Father. Christ only gave us one prayer because it says everything we need to say. Lets confess if we pray without meaning it
The Our Father is the gospel. The perfect prayer, it tells what we, children, should ask of a loving father. And we must ask, for due to our free will God can’t give is anything unless we ask. Even his kingdom can’t come on earth unless we pray for it; That’s the mystery of prayer. In it, by calling God Father, we recognize our dependance on him as a child depends on a parent. God is such a parent within our family, the church. For its “our” father we address not “my” father. This is both the personal plea of a child and the prayer of the whole world. Its because its such a prayer that all our liturgies end with it; as his gathered family we ask for what we need with confidence of a loving parent. He is in heaven, majestic and holy, but not remote. No one can see God and live, so we don’t see him. Yet in Christ he is as close to us as he could be, preparing a place for us in his own home; and sharing even in our worst sufferings on the cross. While in the world our role is to hallow his name. Like with our natural father we’re proud of him. We do not drag his name in the gutter, but honor it. Indeed, in family togetherness at the mass, we honor him in a special day together. For we’re on earth to know, love and serve him, and be with him forever in heaven.
Moreover, our task is to establish his holy kingdom on earth. Christ began this kingdom, the first words of his public ministry was that the Kingdom of God was at hand. He brought our father’s kingdom but needs us build it and pray for its coming every day in our hearts and in the world. One way we do that is by being active members of the church, the kingdom in the world, though it also includes all good people on earth in its mystic aspect.
Fourthly the main way we build his kingdom of love is by doing his will as shown in the Gospel, the charter for a world of truth, beauty, goodness, peace, and love. But we pray that that will come to pass in the church and be done everywhere on earth, for heaven on earth, for an end to death and corruption. For only by putting his will before that of the world and secular power, can man achieve universal peace, love, truth and graceful living.
And justice. That’s why we pray also for our daily bread, for the world’s practical needs – the old corporal works of mercy to clothe the naked, to give drink to the thirsty etc. But we also pray for our spiritual needs – man doesn’t live on bread alone – the Eucharist, prayer, holiness, faith, wisdom, truth, grace are as necessary to nurture our inner soul unto life here and hereafter. Finally we pray for forgiveness and freedom from evil within and without. That we’ll forgive others as God forgives us freely; for he is a father of mercy. And the Our Father ends with the most important thing of all, our deliverance from evil in the world, from all that destroys and oppresses us in body and soul. I shiver when I see youth leaving the church, they’re left wide open to evil. We need God’s protection against evil as much as life itself, for without it we can’t achieve anything of lasting value, any real happiness or freedom. For this world’s values of which Satan is lord pass and leave us empty inside, but God our Father is lord of goodness peace, truth and beauty both for this world and forever and ever, amen. So in the light of the Our Father, our great and perfect prayer, lets profess our faith.
Prayers of the Faithful
And lets pray confidently to our ever-listening Father for our material and spiritual needs.
For our Holy Father that like the heavenly Father he may give us and the world all the physical and spiritual nourishment needed to build the just and holy Kingdom of God on earth..
For civil leaders that they may be fathers to all the citizens of our country and society in love, justice and integrity..
For our youth that they may love their Father in heaven and his kingdom the church and turn at all times to that father to guide and protect them and lead them to their heavenly home.
For ourselves; in our homes may be Fathers and Mothers of love to those in our care, imitating our heavenly Father and Mother.
For the sick, the aged, the lonely and the oppressed, that they may turn to their heavenly father at all times for comfort, and through our care know his enduring love..
For the dead that they may come safely to the home prepared for them by their heavenly father. with the help of our prayers..
And we ask all these our prayers of our heavenly father through Christ who intercedes for his people forever and ever, amen.
You may know that play, All My Sons, by Arthur Miller. Its about an plane maker who for profit allows some faulty planes to take to the skies during the war. His partner takes the blame and one of his own sons dies in one of the planes. When his partner’s son come back to expose him, he realizes at last the terrible crime he had committed, saying, “now I realize that they were all my sons”. He should take responsibility for all those killed due to his greed. All people are God’s sons and we have to face his judgement if we wrong any of them. Lets pray that we will respect all people as sacred children of God the Father..Hail Mary