PART IV: CHRISTIAN PRAYER
Section Two: The Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father”
Article 3, The Seven Petitions
I. “Hallowed Be Thy Name” (cont’d)
§ 2809 The holiness of God is the inaccessible center of His Eternal Mystery. What is revealed of it in creation and history, Scripture calls “glory,” the radiance of His Majesty (cf. Psalms 8; Isaiah 6:3). In making man in His image and likeness, God “crowned him with glory and honor,” but by sinning, man fell “short of the glory of God” (Ps 8:5; Romans 3:23; cf. Genesis 1:26). From that time on, God was to manifest His Holiness by revealing and giving His Name, in order to restore man to the image of His Creator (Colossians 3:10).
§ 2810 In the promise to Abraham and the oath that accompanied it (cf. Hebrews 6:13), God commits Himself but without disclosing His Name. He begins to reveal it to Moses and makes it known clearly before the eyes of the whole people when He saves them from the Egyptians: “he has triumphed gloriously” (Exodus 15:1; cf. 3:14). From the Covenant of Sinai onwards, this people is “his own” and it is to be a “holy (or “consecrated”: the same word is used for both in Hebrew) nation” (cf. Ex 19:5-6), because the Name of God dwells in it.
§ 2811 In spite of the holy Law that again and again their Holy God gives them – “You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy” – and although the Lord shows patience for the sake of His Name, the people turn away from the Holy One of Israel and profane His Name among the nations (Ezekiel 20:9, 14, 22, 39; cf. Leviticus 19:2). For this reason, the just ones of the Old Covenant, the poor survivors returned from exile, and the prophets burned with passion for the Name.
§ 2812 Finally, in Jesus the Name of the Holy God is revealed and given to us, in the flesh, as Savior, revealed by what He is, by His word, and by His sacrifice (cf. Matthew 1:21; Luke 1:31; John 8:28; 17:8; 17:17-19). This is the heart of His priestly prayer: “Holy Father…for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth” (Jn 17:11, 19). Because He “sanctifies” His own Name, Jesus reveals to us the Name of the Father (cf. Ezek 20:39; 36:20-21; Jn 17:6). At the end of Christ’s Passover, the Father gives Him the Name that is above all names: “Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).
Tomorrow – “Hallowed Be Thy Name” (to be continued)
(Part IV, Section 2, Article 3 – to be continued)
[Editor’s Note: The abbreviation in today’s posting is noted below.]
- “cf.” – “confer [compare or refer to]”