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Christian Prayer

673

I.

“H

allowed

B

e

T

hy

N

ame

2807

The term “to hallow” is to be understood here not primar­

ily in its causative sense (only God hallows, makes holy), but above

all in an evaluative sense: to recognize as holy, to treat in a holy

way. And so, in adoration, this invocation is sometimes understood

as praise and thanksgiving.

66

But this petition is here taught to us

by Jesus as an optative: a petition, a desire, and an expectation in

which God and man are involved. Beginning with this first petition

to our Father, we are immersed in the innermost mystery of his

Godhead and the drama of the salvation of our humanity. Asking

the Father that his name be made holy draws us into his plan of

loving kindness for the fullness of time, “according to his purpose

which he set forth in Christ,” that we might “be holy and blameless

before him in love.”

67

2808

In the decisive moments of his economy God reveals his

name, but he does so by accomplishing his work. This work, then,

is realized for us and in us only if his name is hallowed by us and

in us.

2809

The holiness of God is the inaccessible center of his eternal

mystery. What is revealed of it in creation and history, Scripture

calls “glory,” the radiance of his majesty.

68

In making man in his

image and likeness, God “crowned himwith glory and honor,” but

by sinning, man fell “short of the glory of God.”

69

From that time

on, God was to manifest his holiness by revealing and giving his

name, in order to restore man to the image of his Creator.

70

2810

In the promise toAbraham and the oath that accompanied

it,

71

God commits himself but without disclosing his name. He

begins to reveal it to Moses and makes it known clearly before the

eyes of the whole people when he saves them from the Egyptians:

“he has triumphed gloriously.”

72

From the covenant of Sinai on­

wards, this people is “his own” and it is to be a “holy (or “conse­

crated”: the same word is used for both in Hebrew) nation,”

73

because the name of God dwells in it.

66 Cf.

Ps

111:9;

Lk

1:49.

67

Eph

1:9, 4.

68 Cf.

Ps

8;

Isa

6:3.

69

Ps

8:5;

Rom

3:23; cf.

Gen

1:26.

70

Col

3:10.

71 Cf.

Heb

6:13.

72

Ex

15:1; cf. 3:14.

73 Cf.

Ex

19:5-6.

2142-2159

2097

203, 432

293

705

63