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.
So it was for Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, when he experienced anguish and prayed: "Father, if you want, remove this cup from me!" However, not my will but yours be done "(Lk 22:42). Jesus is crushed by the evil of the world, but trustingly abandons himself to the ocean of the love of the will of the Father. Even the martyrs, in their trial, did not seek death, they sought after death, the resurrection. God, out of love, can lead us to walk on difficult paths, to experience painful wounds and thorns, but he will never abandon us. He will always be with us, next to us, within us. For a believer this, rather than a hope, is a certainty. God is with me. The same that we find in that parable of the Gospel of Luke dedicated to the need to pray always. Jesus says: "Will God not do justice to his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will it make them wait long? I tell you that he will do them justice promptly "(18,7-8). This is how the Lord loves us, so he loves us. But, I want to invite you all together now to pray to the Our Father. And those of you who don't know Italian, pray it in their own language. Let's pray together.
Recitation of the Our Father
APPEAL FOR FLOODS IN AFRICA
These days, great floods have sown grief and devastation in various regions of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. To these dear people I express my pain and my closeness. I entrust the many victims and their families to God's mercy and I implore comfort and support for those affected by this calamity.
* * *
I cordially welcome the Italian-speaking pilgrims.
I am pleased to welcome the Capitulars of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary; the participants in the meeting promoted by the Focolare Movement and the Deacons of the Diocese of Milan.
I greet the parish groups, in particular that of Gesualdo; the pastoral units of San Martino in Campo; the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome; the Associations: AIDO of Alessandria; White Roses on the asphalt of Senigallia; Bronte active citizenship; The Chorus of the White Hands of Melissano, and the Educational Institutes: there are many!
A special thought I address to young people, the elderly, the sick and newlyweds.
The journey of Lent, which we are following, is an occasion for each one of authentic conversion, so that we can reach the full maturity of faith in Christ, eager to spread his Gospel in every environment of life in which we find ourselves.
Greetings in Various Languages:
Je salue cordialement les pèlerins de langue française, en particulier le Séminaire de la Société Saint Jean Marie Vianney, les jeunes et toutes les personnes venant de France, de Monaco, de Suisse et de Belgique. En ce temps de carême, contemplons Jésus à Gethsémani, écrasé par le mal mais qui s’abandonne avec confiance à la volonté du Père. Dieu, peut nous conduire sur des sentiers difficiles et douloureux, mais - c’est une certitude - il ne nous abandonnera jamais. Que Dieu vous bénisse !
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Belgium, Croatia, Norway, Nigeria, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America. With prayerful good wishes that this Lent will be a time of grace and spiritual renewal for you and your families, I invoke upon all of you joy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Herzlich grüße ich die Pilger deutscher Sprache. Aus Wien ist die interreligiöse Bewegung „Earth Caravan” gekommen, die eine Pilgerfahrt für Gerechtigkeit und Frieden unternimmt. Bemühen wir uns, den Willen Gottes immer tiefer zu ergründen, seinen Willen für uns und unser Leben, für unsere Gemeinschaften und für die ganze Welt. Versuchen wir eifrige Mitarbeiter seines Heilswillens zu sein! Euch allen wünsche ich eine gute Fastenzeit!
Saludo cordialmente a los peregrinos de lengua española venidos de España y de América Latina, de modo particular a la Fundación Manos Unidas de España que, desde el compromiso cristiano en su campaña contra el hambre, busca cumplir la voluntad de Dios para que a nadie falte el pan cotidiano ni lo necesario en sus vidas. Pidamos al Señor que nuestro testimonio y nuestra oración, sean el revulsivo para que todos los hombres lleguen al conocimiento de la verdad y se salven. Que Dios los Bendiga a todos. Muchas gracias.
Dirijo uma saudação cordial aos peregrinos de língua portuguesa, em particular aos brasileiros de Ribeirão Preto. Queridos amigos, no tempo da Quaresma, a Igreja nos recomenda de aumentar o tempo que dedicamos à oração. Que esses momentos de diálogo filial com Deus nos ajudem a descobrir sempre mais o seu amor infinito por nós e assim nos tornemos instrumentos de misericórdia e paz. Deus vos abençoe!
أُرحّبُ بالحجّاجِ الناطقينَ باللّغةِ العربيّة، وخاصةً بالقادمينَ من الشرق الأوسط. أيّها الإخوةُ والأخواتُ الأعزّاء، يعلّمنا القديس بولس أنّه علينا أن ننفتح في صلاتنا على حضور الروح القدس الذي يصلّي فينا بأَنَّاتٍ لا تُوصَف؛ ليحملنا على اتباع الله بكلِّ قلبنا وكل كياننا. هكذا يصبح روح المسيح قوّةً لصلاتِنا الضعيفة،ونارًا لصلاتنا الفاترة، ويعطينا الحريّة الداخلية الحقيقيّة ويعلمّنا أن نعيش ونواجه محن الحياة مدركين أننا لسنا وحدنا. ليبارككم الرب!
[I warmly welcome the Arabic-speaking pilgrims, especially those from the Middle East! Dear brothers and sisters, Saint Paul teaches us that in our prayer we must open ourselves to the presence of the Holy Spirit, who prays in us with inexpressible groans, to lead us to adhere to God with all our heart and with our whole being. Thus the Spirit of Christ becomes the strength of our weak prayer, the fire of our dry prayer, giving us true inner freedom, teaching us to live facing the trials of existence, in the certainty of not being alone. The Lord bless you!]
Pozdrawiam serdecznie pielgrzymów polskich. Wczoraj obchodziliśmy uroczystość świętego Józefa. Jego troska o świętą Rodzinę jest dla nas wymownym wzorem. Jak on, troszczmy się z miłością o Pana Jezusa, gdy przyjmujemy Go w Eucharystii, kiedy do nas mówi. Z taką samą miłością zwracajmy się do Maryi, prosząc o wsparcie i dobrą radę w codziennym życiu. Uczmy się od świętego Józefa zawierzenia Bogu, pokory, odwagi i posłuszeństwa. Niech będzie pochwalony Jezus Chrystus.
FULL TEXT Release from Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation
FULL TEXT Release from Vatican.va - Unofficial Translation