The prophet Isaiah and Jesus speak today about the great power of words. Isaiah speaks specifically of the power of God’s word, a word that will not return empty but will go out and accomplish the purpose for which God sent it. We see the word that the prophet speaks of here, of course as the Word – “Word” with a capital “W.” That Word is Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, who comes to accomplish the salvation of the world, the purpose of God ever since the world’s creation. Indeed, that Word would never return to the Father empty or void, but instead filled with the richness of God’s beloved children – you and me, the ones he came to save.
The prayer that Jesus gives us today, the classic prayer that echoes in our hearts in good times and in bad, is a prayer with a specific purpose in mind. That prayer, if we pray it rightly, recognizes that God’s holiness will bring about a Kingdom where his divine will will be done in all of creation. It begs God’s forgiveness and begs also that we too would become a forgiving and merciful people, just as God is merciful to us. Finally, it asks for help with temptation and evil, something with which we struggle every day. It is the prayer above all other prayers, the prayer that unites us to the Father’s will for us, the prayer that contains every prayerful attitude or thought.
Today’s readings are a plea that God’s will would finally be done. That his Word would go forth and accomplish God’s purpose. That his will would be done on earth as in heaven. As we pray those familiar words, they can often go past us without catching our attention. But today, maybe we can slow down just a little, and pray them more reflectively, that God’s will would be accomplished in every place, starting in our very own lives.
Because to God belongs the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.