Friends, today’s Gospel is Matthew’s version of the Lord’s Prayer. I want to reflect on the first verses. How wonderful that it comes directly from the prayer of Jesus himself. It is as though the prayer that he teaches them sums up the content of his own prayer.
We call God “Father” when we pray. We call him Abba, Daddy. The same intimacy that Jesus has with his Abba he invites us to share. We don’t just imitate his prayer, the way we would imitate the prayer of any spiritual teacher; rather, we enter into the dynamics of his own being when we pray.
“Hallowed be thy name.” May your name be held holy. The first thing we ask is that we might honor him, that we might make him first in our lives, that he might be set apart from everything else. Job, family, money, success, the esteem of others, our friends—all of it is good, but none of it is to be held holy in this sense.
If we get this wrong, we get everything else wrong. If we don’t hold his name holy above all, everything becomes profane.