In his homily for Thursday, Pope Francis gave a reflection on the words of the Our Father, noting that the prayer reminds us of our identity as children of God.
Pope Francis said that prayers are not magic words for Christians and when we pray the ‘Our Father’ we can feel God looking at us and this prayer should be the cornerstone of our prayer life. His words came during his mass celebrated on Thursday morning in the chapel of the Santa Marta residence.
Taking his inspiration from the gospel reading where Jesus teaches his disciples to pray the “Our Father, the Pope’s homily was a reflection on the value and meaning of prayer in the life of a Christian. He noted that Jesus always used the word “Father” in the most important or challenging moments of his life, saying our Father “knows the things we need, before we even ask Him.” He is a Father who listens to us in secret just like Jesus advised us to pray in secret.
“It’s through this Father that we receive our identity as children. And when I say ‘Father’ this goes right to the roots of my identity: my Christian identity is to be his child and this is a grace of the Holy Spirit. Nobody can say ‘Father’ without the grace of the Spirit. ‘Father’ is the word that Jesus used in the most important moments: when he was full of joy, or emotion: ‘Father, I bless you for revealing these things to little children.’ Or weeping, in front of the tomb of his friend Lazarus: ‘Father, I thank you for hearing my prayer,’ or else at the end, in the final moments of his life, right at the very end.”