We Dare To Say…

The gift of the new translation of the Roman Missal takes a bit getting used to. Some phrasing is unfamiliar and, at first glance, a bit strange. We are not used to speaking about souls and spirits these days.  The joy of liturgy is that, after a while, it becomes like a favorite old glove. It just fits snugly and feels comfortable. But the new phrasing, because it is unfamiliar, forces us to be conscious of what what we are saying.

In the preface to the Lord’s Prayer, the priest intones, “We dare say”. This sounds strange to our ears. Whey do we “dare” pray this most fundamental of all Christian prayers?  In point of fact, we have become anesthetized to  the astonishing claim in Jesus’ prayer. To call God creator is simply a just act. In doing so, we are stating the obvious (see  Rom 1).  But to say “our Father” is to cross a fundamental line. We are claiming that the infinite distance between God and man has somehow been overcome. While remaining creatures, we are now claiming to be sons of the One we worship.

God is no longer  just an external fabricator who makes a universe but the Father who has infinite love for His children.  It is on this basis that we now approach Him.  It is an act of justice to render homage to the divine Creator (‘It is right and just’) but it is truly “daring” to claim this same Creator  as ‘Father’.  Jesus has shown us that not only are we His creatures but we are also His sons.

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