Tuesday of the First Week of Lent
How are we to speak to our loving, all-knowing, all-powerful Creator? Jesus teaches us how in the Lord’s prayer, the Our Father, as a model for our conversation with God. We say it so often that I suppose, being human and careless, we sometimes “rattle it off like the pagans”.
And so, now, in the setting of Mass, let’s take a few moments to consider what this prayer is all about. In it, we acknowledge God’s holiness. We ask that we may know and follow God’s will. We quietly trust that God will be there for us and give us what we need. We commit ourselves to goodness and holiness. We place ourselves in God’s care, trusting he does care.
We speak to God as children, knowing that his love will never leave us. A mother loves her infant child not just because the baby is hers, but even more because the baby is flesh of her flesh, blood of her blood. Spiritually, the infant is her legacy – her hope for the future. In the same way we are God’s children, his idea, his image and likeness. But we are also the body of Christ. Thus the Lord speaks to us in these words – “Even if a mother should forget her child, I will never forget you”. (Is 49:15)
It’s sometimes hard for us to believe that God is always mindful of us and attentive to our needs. Julia Ward Howe, a feminist social activist of the last century – the woman who wrote the words to the Battle Hymn of the Republic, “My eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord” was once talking to Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts and pleading the cause of a person in need. The senator told her: “Julia, I’ve become so busy, I can no longer concern myself with individuals”. Mrs. Howe answered: “That’s quite remarkable. Even God hasn’t reached that stage yet”.
And he never will.
- Father Damian Towey, C.P.