Geneva, Switzerland, Jun 21, 2018 / 10:13 am
The Lord’s Prayer is the prayer of the Church, confirming a person’s identity as a beloved child of God, and reminding Catholics of the responsibility owed toward their brothers and sisters in Christ, Pope Francis said Thursday.
“‘Our Father’: these two simple words offer us a roadmap for the spiritual life,” the pope said in a homily at Mass in Geneva June 21. The Mass took place at the end of a day-long trip to the Swiss city for the 70th anniversary of the World Council of Churches.
In his homily, the pope said the words “Our Father,” as taught by Jesus to his disciples in the day’s Gospel, reveal life’s meaning and a Christian’s identity: “we are God’s beloved sons and daughters.”
“Those words solve the problem of our isolation, our sense of being orphans,” he continued. “They show us what we have to do: love God, our Father, and others, our brothers and sisters. The ‘Our Father’ is the prayer of us, of the Church.”
Referring to how Christians call God “our Father,” he said in the face of offenses against God, Catholics are called to overcome indifference and to treat everyone as brothers and sisters: including the unborn, the elderly, the person who is difficult to forgive, the poor, and the outcast.
“This is what the Father asks us, indeed commands us, to do: to love one another from the heart, as sons and daughters in the midst of their brothers and sisters,” he said.
Catholics are reminded of God as Father also when they make the sign of the cross, he continued, noting that “where the Father is present, no one is excluded; fear and uncertainty cannot gain the upper hand.”
In his homily, Francis also reflected on the images of bread and forgiveness in the Lord’s prayer, stating that when Christians ask God for “our daily bread,” they are asking the Father to help them live a simpler life, focusing on what is most important, like “people over things so that personal, not virtual, relationships may flourish.”