Equality and Our Father

by | Jun 9, 2021 | Practical Spirituality | 1 comment

Around 1650 years ago, John Chrysostom taught verse by verse through the book of Matthew for the church he pastored. When he reached the famous beginning of the Lord’s prayer,

“In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven…”

…he said this:

He teaches, moreover, to make our prayer common, in behalf of our brethren also. For He says not, “my Father, which art in Heaven,” but, “our Father,” offering up his supplications for the body in common, and nowhere looking to his own, but everywhere to his neighbor’s good.

And by this He at once takes away hatred, and quells pride, and casts out envy, and brings in the mother of all good things (charity), and exterminates the inequality of human things, and shows how far the equality reaches between the king and the poor man, if at least in those things which are greatest and most indispensable, we are all of us fellows.

For what harm comes of our kindred below, when in that which is on high we are all of us knit together, and no one hath aught more than another; neither the rich more than the poor, nor the master than the servant, neither the ruler than the subject, nor the king than the common soldier, nor the philosopher than the barbarian, nor the skillful than the unlearned? For to all hath He given one nobility, having vouchsafed to be called the Father by all alike.

That’s a lot to get out of the opening to a prayer, but, doubtless, it’s all there. The words of Jesus have what we need. Followers of Christ all call God Father, so, we must all be His children. Equally.

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