Praying The Our Father During The Corona Virus Outbreak
The OUR FATHER is a short prayer. It is the only one that Jesus left as a legacy to his followers. It is an unusual prayer. All Christians say it. It does not mention Christ. It is said in all churches but it does not belong to any one church. Catholics say it at Sunday Mass, but it says nothing about any religion. As J. D. Crossan says, it is “a revolutionary prayer that proclaims a new vision of history. It is a radical manifesto and a hymn of hope in language that speaks to the whole world.”
OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN
You are our Father. Remember that we are all your sons and daughters. You are in heaven because you belong to all. You are not bound to any place of worship or sacred place on earth. You do not belong to any nation or privileged race. You are not the property of any religion. You are not only for those who are good. We can all call you Father.
HALLOWED BE THY NAME
This is our main desire in these painful moments for all humanity. May your name as Father be acknowledged and respected! May no one defile it through harming your sons and daughters! May we not lose our trust in you! May all the gods and idols that dehumanize us be banished: money that divides us and prevents us from being brothers and sisters; violence that fuels our wars; power that makes us despise the weak.
THY KINGDOM COME
If you reign among us, justice, equality, and peace will reign on earth. We will be enabled to confront the problems of the planet together. United as brothers and sisters we will overcome whatever pandemics may afflict humanity. May the rich have no control over the poor, may powerful nations not take advantage of weaker ones, may men not control women! May your kingdom come and may fellowship reign on earth!
THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN
May your will, not ours, be done! The coronavirus is showing us that everything on earth is incomplete, that we don’t live life to the full. We do not want to learn that we humans are fragile and vulnerable; that here below we cannot reach the fullness of what we long for from the depths of our being. Father, we can only trust in your unfathomable Goodness. Motivated by egoism, consumerism and our own welfare let us not do what we want to be done! May your will be done, because you will always provide for the well-being of all.
GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD
In these difficult times for the world, may no one be in need of bread! WE DO NOT ASK YOU FOR MONEY OR COMFORT, WE DO NOT WANT TO ACCUMULATE WEALTH. We only ask you to give to each one their daily bread. Let this coronavirus pandemic forever remind us that life is the most important gift: may the hungry have food, the tears of the poor cease, and wealthy countries welcome immigrants and refugees so that they may survive and find a home.
FORGIVE US OUR TRESPASSES
Father, forgive us our trespasses: our indifference, our unbelief, our resistance to trusting in you. During these past years we have all changed from within. We have become more critical, but also less consistent, more indifferent to what is not for our own well-being, but more vulnerable than ever in any crisis. We do not find it easy to believe, but it will be difficult for us to believe in nothing. Father, forgive us and awaken our inner life!
AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US
At this time we are all scared as we discover how helpless we are in the inevitable face of death. We also want to mutually forgive one another. We do not want to hold grudges or resentment against anyone. We want to live through this tough experience as brothers and sisters.
AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION
We are weak and dependent. We are experiencing that now more than ever. We can always take decisions and make mistakes that can ruin our own life and the life of others. Therefore, do not let us fall into the temptation of forgetting and rejecting you, Father. Awaken within us confidence in your goodness. We need you now more than ever. You can open pathways for each one of us to find you; believers and non-believers, atheists and agnostics. May we all be enabled to find your silent but effective strength within us!
BUT DELIVER US FROM EVIL
We are responsible for our own mistakes, but we are victims too. Evil and injustice are not only within ourselves. They are also in structures and institutions, both political and religious. Therefore, we end our prayer with a plea: “Father, deliver us from evil.” One day that complete happiness we all desire will become a reality. The joyful, happy times we enjoyed on earth as well as the bitter, painful experiences we lived through; the love, justice and solidarity we have sown as well as the mistakes and blunders we made ... Everything will be transformed into complete happiness.
There will no longer be death or pain. No one will be sad; no one will have to cry. A Christian text written in one of the first communities puts these words into God’s mouth: “To the thirsty I will give water freely from the spring of the water of life” (Revelation 21:6). “Freely,” that is, not on our own merits. “To those thirsty for life”- and who is not thirsty for eternal life? Everyone has to decide how they want to live and how they want to die. I believe and trust that the final mystery of this reality, that some of us call “God,” others “Energy,” others “the Transcendent,” and others “Nothing,” is the Mystery of Goodness in which we will all find the Fullness of our existence. AMEN.
José Antonio Pagola, March 25, 2020. Translated by Mary McGlynn