Monday, December 31, 2012

Our Brother

The days of Christmas last through January 5.  So should our thoughts and great joy!

Now then, one way to put the Christmas Gospel is to say that God is now our brother!  The eternal Son has put on our flesh and become our human brother.  On Christmas Eve I was meditating on this Fact as I visited a nursing home.  "Our brother," I kept thinking.  "Incredible!"  Then suddenly I began to pray, "Our Brother who art in the manger."  I had never done this before.  I was thinking of the Lord's Prayer, but changing it to address the Christ Child!  I soon began to wonder what the rest of the prayer might sound like.  I worked on it over the next few days and arrived at the following.

Our Brother in the manger, hallowed be Your name, "Jesus."  Your kingdom is not of this world.  Your will on earth is that of the Father in heaven.  Give us often Your body and Your blood, and forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.  Lead us out of death by Your cross, and deliver us from evil by Your resurrection.  Amen.

The Lord's Prayer goes by the Latin name "Pater Noster," for "Our Father."  Interestingly then, the above prayer could be called "Frater Noster," for "Our Brother."

The goal is to deepen our understanding of the Lord's Prayer.  When we pray, "Our Father who art in heaven," let us remember our brother Christ, who not only taught us this prayer but makes it possible to pray.  And He is the one through whom the Father answers every petition!