St. Peter's Square
Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Catechesis on "Our Father": 8. May your name be sanctified
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
It seems that winter is leaving and so we are back in the Piazza. Welcome to the square! In our journey of rediscovering the prayer of the "Our Father", today we will deepen the first of his seven invocations, that is, "let your name be sanctified".
The questions of the "Our Father" are seven, easily divisible into two subgroups. The first three have the "You" of God the Father at the center; the other four have "us" and our human needs at the center. In the first part Jesus makes us enter into his desires, all addressed to the Father: "hallowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done"; in the second it is He who enters us and becomes the interpreter of our needs: the daily bread, the forgiveness of sins, the help in temptation and the liberation from evil.
Here is the matrix of every Christian prayer - I would say of every human prayer -, which is always made, on the one hand, of contemplation of God, of his mystery, of his beauty and goodness, and, on the other, of sincere and courageous request of what we need to live, and live well. Thus, in its simplicity and its essentiality, the "Our Father" educates those who pray to him not to multiply vain words, because - as Jesus himself says - "your Father knows what things you need even before you ask them" (Mt 6.8).
When we talk to God, we do not do it to reveal to Him what we have in our hearts: He knows him much better than we do! If God is a mystery to us, we are not an enigma in his eyes (cf. Ps 139: 1-4). God is like those mothers who need only a glance to understand everything about children: if they are happy or sad, if they are sincere or hide something ...
The first step in Christian prayer is therefore the surrender of ourselves to God, to his providence. It is like saying: "Lord, You know everything, you do not even need to tell my pain, I only ask you to stay here beside me: you are my hope". It is interesting to note that Jesus, in the speech of the mountain, immediately after transmitting the text of the "Our Father", exhorts us not to worry and not to worry about things. It seems like a contradiction: first he teaches us to ask for the daily bread and then he tells us: «Do not worry then saying: what will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear? "(Mt 6,31). But the contradiction is only apparent: the Christian's questions express confidence in the Father; and it is precisely this trust that makes us ask for what we need without worry and agitation.
This is why we pray by saying: "Let your name be sanctified!". In this question - the first! "Let your name be sanctified!" - you can feel all the admiration of Jesus for the beauty and the greatness of the Father, and the desire that all recognize him and love him for what he really is. And at the same time there is the supplication that his name is sanctified in us, in our family, in our community, in the whole world. It is God who sanctifies us, who transforms us with his love, but at the same time we too are the ones who, through our witness, manifest the holiness of God in the world, making his name present. God is holy, but if we, if our life is not holy, there is a great incoherence! The holiness of God must be reflected in our actions, in our life. "I am a Christian, God is holy, but I do so many bad things", no, this is not necessary. This also hurts; this scandalizes and does not help.
The holiness of God is an expanding force, and we plead because it quickly breaks down the barriers of our world. When Jesus begins to preach, the first to pay the consequences is precisely the evil that afflicts the world. The evil spirits swear: «What do you want from us, Jesus of Nazareth? Did you come to ruin us? I know who you are: the saint of God! "(Mk 1:24). One had never seen such a holiness: not worried about herself, but outstretched. A holiness - that of Jesus - that spreads out in concentric circles, like when a stone is thrown into a pond. Evil has its days counted - evil is not eternal - evil can no longer harm us: the strong man who takes possession of his house has arrived (cf. Mk 3: 23-27). And this strong man is Jesus, who also gives us the strength to take possession of our inner home.
Prayer drives away all fear. The Father loves us, the Son raises his arms side by side with ours, the Spirit works in secret for the redemption of the world. And U.S? We do not waver in uncertainty. But we have a great certainty: God loves me; Jesus gave his life for me! The Spirit is inside of me. This is the great sure thing. And the bad? He's afraid. And this is beautiful.
Greetings in Various Languages:
Je suis heureux de saluer les pèlerins venus du Canada, de Suisse et de France. Je salue les groupes de plusieurs diocèses et de paroisses françaises, en particulier ceux du diocèse de Belley-Ars et de Brazzaville avec Mgr Roland, du diocèse de Poitiers avec Mgr Wintzer, de la paroisse de Porto-Vecchio ; en outre, je salue tous les jeunes présents, en particulier ceux du diocèse de Créteil avec Mgr Santier. Demandons à l’Esprit Saint de nous aider à manifester par toute notre vie la sainteté de Dieu et à rendre son nom présent dans le monde. Que notre prière nous permette ainsi de grandir dans la confiance en Dieu, en sa providence. Que Dieu vous bénisse !
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Wales, Norway and the United States of America. Upon all of you, and your families, I invoke the Lord’s blessings of joy and peace. God bless you!
Sehr herzlich grüße ich die Pilger deutscher Sprache, insbesondere die Gruppe der Behindertenseelsorge im Bistum Mainz. Als Heilige wird man nicht geboren. Die Heiligkeit ist ein Geschenk Jesu. Im Vaterunser bitten wir den Herrn um eine größere Ausbreitung der Heiligkeit in uns und in der Welt. Der Heilige Geist begleite euch auf eurem Weg zur Heiligkeit.
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española venidos de España y Latinoamérica. Pidamos al Señor que con la fuerza de su santidad destruya el mal que aflige a nuestro mundo, y nos conceda vivir con la convicción de que su amor redentor, que ha vencido al maligno, no nos abandona nunca. Que Dios los bendiga. Muchas gracias.Queridos peregrinos de língua portuguesa: uma saudação cordial a todos, particularmente aos sacerdotes de Setúbal, aos fiéis de Santarém e Ericeira e aos grupos vindos do Brasil. Faço votos de que esta peregrinação a Roma fortaleça em vós os bons propósitos para dar testemunho do Evangelho de Jesus, impelidos pela coragem que a oração infunde nos vossos corações. Deus vos abençoe!
أرحّب بالحاضرين الناطقين باللغة العربية، وخاصّة بالقادمين من مصر ومن العراق ومن الشرق الأوسط. إن الهدف الوحيد للدعاء باسم الله هو تقديسه وليس استغلاله. فطلب "لِيتقَدَّسِ اسمُكَ" يعني الالتزام بتحويل حياتي لأنشودة شكر لعظمة الله؛ يعني إعلان أيماني به بشكل ملموس؛ يعني الانخراط في درب القداسة كي يمجد الآخرون اسمه المقدس. ليبارككم الربّ جميعًا ويحرسكم دائمًا من الشرير!
Serdecznie pozdrawiam polskich pielgrzymów. Drodzy bracia i siostry, bądźcie wytrwali w modlitwie, aby świętość Boga naszego Ojca przeniknęła wasze serca i uczyniła was świadkami Jego świętego imienia w waszych rodzinach, wspólnotach i w świecie. Bądźcie ufni: każde zło zostanie pokonane przez świętość Boga. Niech Jego błogosławieństwo stale towarzyszy wam i waszym najbliższym.
Srdačno pozdravljam hrvatske hodočasnike, osobito bogoslove, studente i profesore Katoličkoga bogoslovnog fakulteta u Đakovu. Dragi prijatelji, ohrabrujem vas da se posvetite s marljivošću i predanošću svojim studijima, kako biste bili „spremni na odgovor svakomu koji od vas zatraži obrazloženje nade koja je u vama“ (1 Pt 3, 15). Potičem vas prije svega da uskladite intelektualni rad s osobnim i crkvenim životom. Ova korizma neka vam bude milosno vrijeme u kojem ćete obnoviti predanje svoga srca i uma Gospodinu. Hvaljen Isus i Marija!
I extend a cordial welcome to the Italian-speaking faithful.
I am pleased to welcome the pilgrims from the Diocese of Mantua, with the Bishop Monsignor Gianmarco Busca; the parish groups, in particular those of Alife, accompanied by the Bishop, Mons. Valentino Di Cerbo; of Gubbio and San Vito dei Normanni.
I greet the Delegation of the Benedictine Fiaccola, with the Archbishop of Spoleto-Norcia, Mons. Renato Boccardo.
A special thought I address to young people, the elderly, the sick and newlyweds.
I wish each one of you that your pilgrimage to the tombs of the Holy Apostles is an encouragement to spread enthusiastically the perennial news of the saving message brought by Christ to every man, starting with the most distant and dispossessed.
FULL TEXT + Image Share from Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation
FULL TEXT + Image Share from Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation