St. Peter's Square
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Catechesis on the "Our Father": 10. Let your will be done
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
Continuing our catecheses on the "Our Father", today we pause on the third invocation: "Your will be done". It must be read in unity with the first two - "let your name be sanctified" and "your Kingdom come" - so that the whole forms a triptych: "hallowed be thy name", "your Kingdom come", " Thy will be done. " Today we will talk about the third.
Before the care of the world by man, there is the untiring care that God uses towards man and the world. The whole Gospel reflects this reversal of perspective. The sinner Zacchaeus climbs a tree because he wants to see Jesus, but he does not know that, much earlier, God had looked for him. Jesus, when he arrives, tells him: "Zacchaeus, come down immediately, because today I must stay at your house." And in the end he declares: "The Son of man has come to seek and to save what was lost" (Lk 19: 10.10). Here is the will of God, the one we pray to be done. What is the will of God incarnated in Jesus? Search and save what is lost. And we, in prayer, ask that the search for God be successful, that his universal plan of salvation be fulfilled, first, in each of us and then in the whole world. Have you thought what does it mean that God is looking for me? Each of us can say: "But, God is looking for me?" - "Yes! Search for yourself! Search for me ": look for everyone, personally. But it's great God! How much love is behind all this.
God is not ambiguous, does not hide behind enigmas, has not planned the future of the world in an indecipherable manner. No, he is clear. If we do not understand this, we risk not understanding the meaning of the third expression of the "Our Father". In fact, the Bible is full of expressions that tell us of God's positive will towards the world. And in the Catechism of the Catholic Church we find a collection of quotations that testify to this faithful and patient divine will (see nos. 2821-2827). And St. Paul, in the First Letter to Timothy, writes: "God wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2,4). This, without a doubt, is the will of God: the salvation of man, of men, of each one of us. God with his love knocks on the door of our hearts. Why? To attract us; to attract us to Him and carry us forward on the path to salvation. God is close to each of us with his love, to take us by hand to salvation. How much love is behind this!
So, praying "your will be done", we are not invited to bend the head slavishly, as if we were slaves. No! God wants us to be free; it is the love of Him that frees us. In fact, the "Our Father" is the prayer of children, not slaves; but of children who know the heart of their father and are certain of his design of love. Woe to us if, pronouncing these words, we would shrug our shoulders in surrender before a destiny that repels us and that we cannot change. On the contrary, it is a prayer full of ardent trust in God who wants good for us, life, salvation. A courageous prayer, even combative, because in the world there are so many, too many realities that are not according to God's plan. We all know them. Paraphrasing the prophet Isaiah, we could say: "Here, Father, there is war, abuse of power, exploitation; but we know that You want our good, therefore we beg you: your will be done! Lord, overturn the plans of the world, turn swords into plows and spears into sickles; that no one should practice more in the art of war! "(see 2: 4). God wants peace.
The "Our Father" is a prayer that ignites in us the same love of Jesus for the will of the Father, a flame that drives us to transform the world with love. The Christian does not believe in an ineluctable "fate". There is nothing haphazard in the faith of Christians: there is instead a salvation that waits to manifest itself in the life of every man and woman and to be fulfilled in eternity. If we pray it is because we believe that God can and wants to transform reality by overcoming evil with good. To this God it makes sense to obey and abandon oneself even in the hour of the hardest trial.
FULL TEXT Release from Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation