“Pray then in this way: Our Father in heaven …” (Mt 6:9-13)
The ‘Our Father’, taught by Jesus himself, is a unique and foundational Christian prayer. It is also the most beautiful prayer, which can be prayed by everyone, any time and any number of times. There was an ancient practice of praying the Our Father repetitively, which was lost in the second millennium.
The Our Father Rosary is a Trinitarian repetitive prayer that facilitates an effective contemplation of the mysteries of salvation unfolding as Creation, Redemption and Sanctification: the Abba, Father is the creator and Father of all; His only begotten Son is the Redeemer of all; the Sanctifying Spirit invites all to become the children of the Abba, Father. In the words of Pope Benedict XVI, “God in being Father has two dimensions. First of all, God is our Father because he is our Creator…., for him we are not anonymous impersonal beings, but have a name. ... The Spirit of Christ opens us to a second dimension of God’s Fatherhood, beyond creation. … Jesus in his turn accepts us in his humanity, and even in his being Son, so that we too may enter into his specific belonging to God.”1 When we pray the Our Father, we are proclaiming the universal and Christian divine filiation of all humans.
The prayer Our Father has great ecumenical and interreligious potential to become a universal prayer of Christian inspiration for the third millennium, which is a period of global migration and mingling of peoples and cultures. There is a deep yearning for harmony amidst social, cultural, linguistic and religious diversity. In such a context, the Christian vision of God as a loving Father provides a valuable spiritual source for the creation of a World Family: “The God whom we Christians believe is the Creator and Father of all, and from him all people are brothers and sisters and form one single family”.2
God enlightens all cultures and religions through the Word and the Spirit in their journey toward the Father.3 It is our earnest hope and prayer that the intrinsic power of the Lord’s Prayer will transform all those who pray it to seek and quicken the coming of the Reign of God envisaged by Jesus.
1. Cf. “Christianity a Religion of Trust”, in L’Osservatore Romano, Weekly edition, (no. 22), 30 May 2012, p. 10.
2. Pope Benedict XVI, at Inter-religious Meet in Assisi, October 27, 2011.
3. Acts 17:28; Redemptoris Missio, 28.
The Feast of the Trinity Fr. Abraham Ayckara
June 2, 2012 Fr. Jose Palakeel