Friday, September 30, 2011

My message at the Ukrainian Prayer Breakfast


Your Excellencies, 
Your Eminences, 
Distinguished participants, 
Dear friends,

It is wonderful to see how we all, from different backgrounds and in different languages, are praying the Lord’s Prayer together:  the prayer that unites all Christians from all different denominations and from all different countries and cultures all over the world. It is thus not a coincidence that the prayer starts with the expression “Our Father”. However, the word “our” is at first surprising, as I would expect the Lord’s prayer to start with the expression “My Father”, since I am used to pray for my health, my work etc.  Nevertheless, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ taught us to pray using the words “give US our daily bread”, “lead US not into temptation” and so on. I think this has to do with the fact that Jesus wanted to teach us to look not only to the Father, but also to those around us! 


We are created not to be alone, but to live in communities: community with God, based on the salvation through Jesus Christ, and also in unity with each other. We are not all just individualists, but we are all created in the image and likeness of God, our Creator. God therefore is not a private property but He is Our Father. God loved us so much that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him will not be perished but will have eternal life (John 3:16). If God is showing His solidarity to us, we should show our solidarity to others around us: the rich, the poor; the leaders, the followers; the strong and the weak; the healthy and the sick, but also for the unborn and the disabled. A healthy society is based on communities in which the family is the basic unit and is based on the sacrificing love of Jesus Christ, who taught us by example Himself. He is our model of how we should live and act. 

Jesus told us to pray to OUR Father, for OUR needs. In order to be able to pray this prayer, we need to have a connection between ourselves and the others. This connection comes through faith in God based on the love of Jesus Christ. This is the foundation for the development of Christian values in a globalized world. In this sense, our former Vice Prime Minister stated that (I quote): “We are convinced that in the perspective of the ongoing European integration, closer relations with other Christian politicians and parties are both useful and desirable to strengthen the Biblical inspired message”. The Biblical message is based on human dignity, protection of life, respect for family, justice and a sustainable prosperity.

In Psalm 33 we read “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He chose for His inheritance”. This psalm also ends with a prayer to “Our Father”, and is like a prayer for the nation that I would like to share:  “WE wait in hope for the LORD; He is OUR help and OUR shield. In Him OUR hearts rejoice, for WE trust in His holy Name. May Your unfailing love rest upon US, O Lord, even as WE put OUR hope in You. Let this be the prayer of reconciliation and love for all of us: reconciliation with God and with the people around us.” I wish you all a blessed Prayer Breakfast and Forum!

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