Wednesday, October 11, 2023
Saint John XXIII, pope
Father... Dad... In the Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux, it is difficult to find expressions like “Lord” or “Ruler of the Universe,” while we can easily find her phrases like those that children use to address their parents. The straightforward attitude of this patron saint of missions, her confidence and her gaze on God show us the truth that Jesus communicates to us through today’s Gospel.
The apostles repeatedly prayed in ways known to them, but their Master’s prayer had to be unique, different from any other prayer they knew. Therefore, one of the disciples asks Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray...,” here one might add, “...as you pray.” To this request, Jesus replies, “When you pray, say, Father,” and then continues the prayer we know so well. He uses the Aramaic word “Abba,” which children use to address their parents. This is what distinguishes our Master’s prayer. It is like the attitude of a small child speaking to his daddy - he speaks openly, naturally, directly and spontaneously. It also teaches us this unique relationship and prayer, making us aware that we are God’s children. So, we are not lonely orphans, but we have a Father to whom we can turn with full trust, love and certainty that we will receive tender protection from Him.