A Note From Father Eickhoff

May 14, 2023

If I asked you to recite a “Christian prayer” I have no doubt that you would immediately begin with the words “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.”  The Our Father is the first prayer we learn as children, and it is the prayer that we hold in common with our fellow Christians throughout the world.  The question that might be put to you upon hearing that opening line is what does it mean to “hallow the name of the Father?”

Normally when we hear the word “hallow” we equate it with the words “bless” or “sanctify.”  We often think of using these words in the sense of adding blessing to something or someone.  Yet, this meaning does not work with God.  It is a certainty that we human beings cannot add anything to the perfection, glory, holiness, and majesty of God.  God is already infinitely perfect, holy, glorious, and majestic.  What we can do is to acknowledge the fact God is indeed these things by living our lives in a manner worthy of being called children of God.  St. Peter in today’s Second Reading calls every Christian to do this when he writes:

                       “but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.”

 In other words the best way to “hallow the name of the Father” is to act as Christ acted and to live as Christ lived.  If we proclaim that “Jesus Christ is Lord,” but then fail to live our lives in accordance with His teaching and example then those words are just a slogan (a true slogan mind you, but not one we have fully put into effect).  However, if we both proclaim “Jesus Christ is Lord” in word and in the manner of our lives then we are truly, really placing Christ foremost in our heart and mind.  We are in effect saying to ourselves, to the world, and to God “I know and believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Lord of Creation, and that His way of life is the path that I wish to follow.”  This commitment gives glory and praise to God and is the best way for us as disciples of Christ to “hallow the name of the Father.”

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Stephen Eickhoff