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“Hallowed Be Thy Name”

The Lord’s Prayer invites us to acknowledge the holiness of God. It urges us also as God’s children, to pray and to manifest His holiness in the world through our lives. 

Before I analyze the “Our Father” with its different petitions, I would like to point out that the word ‘I’ is not present in this prayer. This important detail tells us that we can never pray in isolation. Authentic prayer sets us free from slavery to the ‘I’: our emotions, our thoughts, our experiences, and our little world. The “Our Father”, in a very special way, asks us to be in communion with all our brothers and sisters in the Church and throughout the world. We have the words ‘Thy’ referring to God and “Us” and “Our” referring to those who pray, to each person who is in communion with all of God’s children.

In Ezekiel 36:22-23, God says that His name is holy: “And so, say to the House of Israel, The Lord Yahweh says this: I am acting not for your sake, House of Israel, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I am going to display the holiness of my great name which has been profaned, which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am Yahweh –declares the Lord Yahweh- when in you I will display my holiness before their eyes.”

God’s Name Is Holy
God proclaimed His name to be holy but the people of Israel profaned it. God’s name is holy but our society continues to debase His name. Don’t we ourselves debase it at times? Because of this, all the disgraceful acts present in our world, especially those against persons, are done as if there were no God, no Commandments, no Gospel, and no common humanity. 
These sacrilegious acts are a denial of God’s holiness and of God Himself. In fact, God’s name designates God. Praying the “Our Father” means asking that all people, especially Christians, may hold the name of God as holy.

Praying, “Hallowed be Thy Name”, makes us understand that, as God’s children, we are first of all called to holiness. Our call to holiness impels us to pray for all people so that the world may recognize God, revere His greatness, adore Him and follow the Gospel message of Jesus Christ His Son.  

God’s Holiness In Our Life 
All people should open themselves to God’s salvation and aim at becoming holy. Pope Francis said: “In this request one feels all Jesus’ admiration for the beauty and greatness of the Father, and we wish that everyone recognize and love him for what he truly is. And at the same time there is the supplication that his name be sanctified in us, in our family, in our community, in the whole world. With our witness we too manifest God’s holiness in the world, making his name present. The holiness of God must be reflected in our actions, in our life. Otherwise we scandalize people. God’s holiness is an expanding force, and we ask that the barriers in our world be quickly broken down so that the Father’s holiness we see in Jesus and is present in us may expand in concentric circles, as when one throws a stone into a pond. The days of the evil one are numbered.”    

The invocation, which asks for the name of God to be kept holy, creates in us the desire for every person in the world to respond to God’s love with his/her love. God loves us, therefore we should love each other. This love chases the fear away. Pope Francis has given the reason for each person not to fear saying: “God loves me, the Son has given His life for me! The Spirit is within me. This is the great certainty.” With this conviction, evil is defeated and love has its great victory. What a consoling and beautiful gift!

May all people, through the intercession of Mary, have the amazing grace to contemplate God the Holy One and, attracted by Him, have unlimited confidence in God’s loving care for us. In this way, the world will become a better place to live in and God’s name will be held as holy. 

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