Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of November 5, 2001
'Who art in heaven'
By FR. JOHN SPICER
In last week's article we took a first look at the Our Father. We only got as far as that title. We proceed now to the second phrase "who art in heaven."
True, God is in heaven. But, as we learned in early years, God is everywhere. Yet only in heaven will we see God "face to face." And only then will we know and love him fully.
But the depth of our knowledge and love of God in heaven depends upon our efforts to know and love him here on earth.
How then can we grow here on earth in the knowledge and love of God? First, we must be aware that God takes the first step. He comes to us. He comes to us through all of nature and the whole of creation.
More wonderfully, he came to us through the people of Israel, and more wonderfully yet through his own divine Son, who in turn comes to us through the Christian community.
Thus Jesus and his community, the Church, are the heart of God's revelation to us. As Jesus' words put it, "He who sees me, sees the Father" and, "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of those who are members of my family, you did it to me."
So in and through Jesus and his followers God comes to us, thus enabling us to grow ever more surely and deeply into the knowledge and love for him and for one another.
Knowledge and love of God go hand in hand. Since God is love we can know him only if we love him and love one another.
We go on now to the next phrase of the Our Father, "hallowed be your name." We are to praise God the creator and giver of life for all he has done and is doing for us.
God is the beginning and the purpose of all creation. He alone lives by his own right. Nothing else does. Hence we are to bless and glorify his name, with our entire being.
Coming to know, love and bless God's name is a life-long challenge. Nothing is more important. But through and in Jesus we can accomplish this challenge and in accomplishing it receive from God riches only he can give.
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