PART IV: CHRISTIAN PRAYER
Section Two: The Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father”
Article 3, The Seven Petitions
II. “Thy Kingdom Come” (cont’d)
§ 2820 By a discernment according to the Spirit, Christians have to distinguish between the growth of the Reign of God and the progress of the culture and society in which they are involved. This distinction is not a separation. Man’s vocation to eternal life does not suppress, but actually reinforces his duty to put into action in this world the energies and means received from the Creator to serve justice and peace (cf. GS 22; 32; 39; 45; EvN 31).
§ 2821 This petition is taken up and granted in the prayer of Jesus which is present and effective in the Eucharist; it bears its fruit in new life in keeping with the Beatitudes (cf. John 17:17-20; Matthew 5:13-16; 6:24; 7:12-13).
III. “Thy Will Be Done on Earth as It Is in Heaven”
§ 2822 Our Father “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3-4). He “is forbearing toward you, not wishing that any should perish” (2 Peter 3:9; cf. Mt 18:14). His Commandment is “that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another” (Jn 13:34; cf. 1 Jn 3; 4; Luke 10:25-37). This Commandment summarizes all the others and expresses His entire will.
§ 2823 “He has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ…to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will” (Ephesians 1:9-11). We ask insistently for this loving plan to be fully realized on Earth as it is already in Heaven.
§ 2824 In Christ, and through His human will, the will of the Father has been perfectly fulfilled once for all. Jesus said on entering into this world: “Lo, I have come to do your will, O God” (Hebrews 10:7; Psalm 40:9a). Only Jesus can say: “I always do what is pleasing to him” (Jn 8:29). In the prayer of His agony, He consents totally to this will: “not my will, but yours be done” (Lk 22:42; cf. Jn 4:34; 5:30; 6:38).
For this reason, Jesus “gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Galatians 1:4). “And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Heb 10:10).
Tomorrow – “Thy Will Be Done on Earth as It Is in Heaven” (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]”