The Gospel according to Matthew: Jesus said to his disciples:
"In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
"This is how you are to pray:
'Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.'
"If you forgive others their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”
(Matthew 6: 7-15)
These two words alone tell us so much of who we are.
“Our” denotes a plural possessive pronoun reminding us of our commonality, that we share something. It is communal thinking, not individualistic thinking. I can do what I want with mine, but I must consider you when it comes to what is “ours”. “Our” is inclusive thought that speaks of belonging to a common point or social circle. In the prayer that Jesus taught us, He reveals to us that we belong to a common Father.
“Father” is the origin of our being. We understand this biologically. Father is kinship and blood. To share a common father is to share kinship and blood. For the life blood that is in us is from the father. There is an unchanging, abiding love in this relationship that we all know instinctively. It is the reason children who grew up in a fatherless family suffer so greatly the wounds of abandonment.
For Catholics, the “family ties” we have to God is not just spiritual. We profess to share in the Body and Blood of Christ in a real way at every Mass. We take His life blood and incorporate it into our own. Our family ties are real in all levels of our being. And so it should manifest in like manner in our dealings with each other.
The revelation that God is our Father teaches us the way of trust and love as the foundation of our relationship with Him and with each other. May we be ever mindful of this.
Father, teach us to be like children before You, to run to You for protection, to look to You for guidance in all things and to trust You where You lead us for it is always out of Love and for our good. Father, help us to recognize the life blood you have given us in Jesus Christ, is also in our brothers and sisters, that we may honor and love each other better.