The Fatherhood of God

On the Lord's Prayer
by Origen, 3rd century

Thy Will be Done on Earth as It is in Heaven

We who are praying are still on earth ourselves. And since we reckon that all the inhabitants of heaven fulfill the will of God in heaven, it comes naturally to us to ask that we too on earth should succeed in fulfilling the divine will. That will come about, logically, if we do nothing outside that will.

When we have perfectly accomplished it, although we are still remaining on earth we shall be like the heavenly beings and will bear equally with them the image of the heavenly Being. [cf. 1 Cor. 15:49]

In the end we shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Those who come to take our place on earth will ask that they too may become like us who are then in heaven.

In addition it is recorded that our Lord after his resurrection said to the eleven Apostles: `All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.' [Matt. 28:18]

Jesus claimed in short to have received authority on earth equal to that which he has in heaven. The things of heaven, at the beginning, have been illuminated by the Word. And at the end of time, thanks to the authority granted to the Son of God, the things of earth will be like those of heaven which is already perfect.

So then it is clear that Christ is calling his disciples to work faithfully with him by means of their prayers. That all earthly events may come to be transformed by the authority that Christ has received both in heaven and on earth, this ought to be our prayer.

[Breviario Patristico © 1971 Piero Gribaudi Editore, Turin, Italy; translated by Paul Drake]

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(c) 1999 Don Schwager