Thank you for joining me as we Lectio the Liturgy with the Collect for the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time.
Almighty every-living God, whom, taught by the Holy Spirit, we dare to call our Father, bring, we pray, to perfection in our hearts the spirit of adoption as your sons and daughters, that we may merit to enter into the inheritance which you have promised. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, for ever and ever.
We hear it in this prayer, and I’m sure you’ve heard it during the Communion Rite during mass, and if you haven’t, you will from now on, “At the Savior’s command, and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say...”
The little verb dare always catches my attention. Perhaps it’s because the first definition that I connect with the word is to challenge someone to do something. That’s not what it means in the Communion Rite, or in this weekend’s Collect.
If used figuratively, dare means to take for granted, and leans toward to venture with confidence. This confidence comes from the command of Jesus in Matthew 6:9, “This is how you are to pray: Our Father…” and it comes from being taught by the Holy Spirit.
In being taught by the Holy Spirit, or in other words, formed by divine teaching, the Holy Spirit reminds us and teaches us how to find the Father.
In his homily on May 17, 2020, Pope Francis writes, “The Holy Spirit does not come to ‘make us His clients’, he comes to point out how to access the Father.” What a great reminder. We aren’t clients, we aren’t associates, we are family.
Pope Francis goes on to teach us that without the Father, there are no brothers or sisters. We would be missing the tenderness, reverence, gentleness, and the attributes of belonging to a family that is certain of having a Father.
It’s so easy to say we are part of the family of God, but the sweetness of that declaration comes from knowing it in your heart. There is nothing more exhilarating, joyful or peaceful than to be with people who live from that identity as a child of God.
It’s in that identity, that comes through our adoption, that we are given the inheritance that the Father has promised. We don’t have to divide up what was inheritance was left after Jesus’ share, we become children of God, just like Jesus. We get what Jesus gets.
The best part of that inheritance is that it doesn’t start at heaven’s door, it starts today. Part of our inheritance is access to the Father.
May the Holy Spirit give us the grace of rediscovering the Father, the one who gives meaning to all life. As we dare to pray to our Father, may we recognize what a gift it is to have our Father.