Our Identity in Christ

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Wednesday of the Twenty-Seventh Week in Ordinary Time


Luke 11:1-4

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your Kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.”


Opening Prayer: Abba, Father! You are such a wonderful father. You provide all that I need for my earthly and spiritual needs. Open my heart to understand this prayer in an even deeper way. 


Encountering Christ:


  1. Beloved Children of God: The Our Father is a simple but profound prayer. In it, Jesus teaches us our true identity. First of all, we who are baptized are beloved children of God. This is why we have the privilege of calling God our Father. We are “baptized into Christ” (Galatians 3:27), which means that through our identification with Jesus we become his brothers and sisters, and therefore adoptive sons and daughters of the Father. St. Paul wrote that at baptism, through the Holy Spirit “…you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:16). Our deepest identity, our spirits, testify within us that we are beloved children.
  2. Hidden Sacraments: Because we are God’s children, we are called to trust him, just as a child trusts a good father who cares for and loves his children. This prayer also teaches us to rely on God the Father to provide for us in our needs, both earthly and spiritual. We ask for the most basic of needs: daily bread. This refers not only to the earthly food we need to sustain our bodies, but also for the spiritual food we need to sustain us: the Eucharist. One translation for the Greek word “daily,” epiousios, is “supersubstantial.” Our supersubstantial bread is the Eucharist, the Bread of Life (John 6:35). We also ask for God’s forgiveness, which points us to the sacrament of Reconciliation. We ask our merciful Father to wash us from our sins, like a little child who needs a bath. We need the sacraments of the Eucharist and Reconciliation to remain connected to the divine life of Christ. We can ask ourselves if we trust God to provide for our earthly needs or if we fall into self-reliance. Do we recognize and give thanks for the amazing ways that God provides for us spiritually through the Eucharist and Reconciliation?
  3. Heirs of the Kingdom: The Our Father also defines our identity as joint heirs of Christ’s Kingdom. We pray, “Thy Kingdom come.” We are God’s children, “and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16). Jesus said, “Let the children come to me and do not prevent them; for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it” (Luke 18:16-17). We accept the Kingdom by becoming humble and enthroning Christ as Lord in our hearts (cf. 1 Peter 3:15). St. Therese wrote, “my little way is the way of spiritual childhood, the way of trust and absolute self-surrender.” We can ask ourselves if we strive to surrender to God’s will in all things or if we struggle against his plan for us?


Conversing with Christ: Jesus, you are the King of my heart! Reign there with your justice and mercy. Banish any evil that tries to impede your sovereignty. Help me to trust in you completely and give me a deep understanding of what it means to be a child of God. 


Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will pray the Our Father slowly and purposefully, meditating on each phrase. 


For Further Reflection: Read the article “Spiritual Childhood” to consider how humility is a key part of our identities as beloved children of God. Additionally, here is an article on the Catholic Exchange, “Our Supersubstantial Bread.” 


Carey Boyzuck, MTS, is a wife, mother, freelance writer, pastoral assistant, and lay member of Regnum Christi. She blogs at www.word-life-light.com.

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