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Metro Manila Teaching Night Focuses on the Our Father
Friday, March 2, 2018

“The Lord’s Prayer is the summary of the Gospel.” 

This was the essence of CFC Chair Melo Villaroman Jr.’s talk during the Metro Manila Mission Core Teaching Night last February 20, 2018 at the St. Paul College Auditorium, Pasig City.


Villaroman said, “Communication is a crucial part of life. In fact, according to studies in the USA, an average man or woman spends 39 minutes in communicating every day.” However, according to him, this doesn’t include the most important conversation— one’s conversation with God, who created man.


He added, “We communicate with God through prayer. Although sometimes, our prayers are scattered in our thoughts, or are sometimes muddled and jumbled words.” He opined that the Lord’s Prayer is the most basic and the best way to communicate with God. “Why do we know that the Lord’s prayer is the right, basic way in approaching the throne of God?” Villaroman asked. “Because this is exactly His Son’s approach and the Lord knows His Father and His Father and He are one.” 


The Lord’s Prayer is mentioned first over other petitions as a foundation of man’s desires. It is the faithful’s common petition. Villaroman explained  The Lord’s Prayer by dividing it into two parts:


1.  God-ward

Hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.


2.  Us-ward

Give us our daily bread, Forgive us, Do not bring us to the test, Deliver us from evil.

The God-ward series carries everyone toward Jesus for the sake of God. It is where the people are strengthened in faith, filled with hope and set aflame by charity.


On the other hand, the us-ward series is an offering up of our expectations that draws down upon ourselves the eyes of Father of mercy.

He reiterated that one’s prayer to God is not just a prayer but a relationship towards God. In order for man to build a relationship with God, he has to connect to His heart with sincerity.The Summary of the Whole GospelCatholics proclaim that all scripture is fulfilled in Christ and the Gospel is the Good News. 

“The prayer to our Father is at the center of this proclamation. He proclaims the life we should live by words and He teaches us to ask for this life through the spirit of our prayer,” Villaroman said.


According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “The rightness of our life in Him will depend on the rightness of our prayer.” (CCC 2764)


Our Father Who Art in Heaven

This prayer is unique because it is of the Lord. Jesus gave His people the words of this prayer and gave the spirit that transforms these words into the spirit inside each of them.

“We go to our Father who art in Heaven because we are His sons and daughters,” he explained.The first phrase of the Our Father is a blessing adoration. Man can adore God because He has caused each person to be reborn by virtue of adoption, becoming His children together with His only son.

“The Lord’s Prayer reveals us to ourselves at the same time that it reveals the Father to us,” he added.

Seven Petitions in the Lord’s Prayer

For a more definite understanding of the Lord’s Prayer, Villaroman explained each petition mentioned in the prayer.

Petition 1: Hallowed be Thy Name - “Asking the Father that His name be made holy draws us into His plan, that in the fullness of time we may be holy and blameless in love,” Villaroman said.

Petition 2: Thy kingdom come- The kingdom of God is proclaimed in the Gospel and it has come in Christ’s death and resurrection. The Lord’s Prayer refers primarily to His coming through Christ’s return. But this final coming doesn’t distract the world from the Church’s mission to the present world. “That is why our mission is challenging and never easy because the ways of the evil one battle with the ways of the spirit,” Villaroman said.

Petition 3: Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven- “We ask insistently for God’s plan to be fully realized on earth as it is in Heaven. In Christ and through His human will and obedience, the will of the Father has been fulfilled perfectly once and for all,” Villaroman exhorted.

Petition 4: Give us this day our daily bread- In this petition, Jesus teaches the faithful to glorify the Father by acknowledging how good He is beyond all goodness.


It is also a reminder that Catholics are called to be instruments of God’s answer to the cry of the hungry and the poor.The petition also applies to another hunger: the famine on earth which is not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but the hunger for the bread of life, the Word of God accepted in faith, the body of Christ received in the Eucharist.

Petition 5: Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us - “In this petition we return to Him like the prodigal son, and confess our wretchedness in His mercy.” Villaroman further said, “This outpouring of mercy cannot penetrate our hearts as long as we have not forgiven those who have trespassed against us.”

Petition 6: and lead us not to temptation - This petition implies a decision of the heart. The Father gives us strength in the battle against evil. When temptation confronts us face to face, praying the Our Father will see us through it.


Petition 7: But deliver us from evil - The last petition of the Our Father not only touches each prayer personally, but it prays also for the deliverance of the whole human family. In this final petition, the Church brings before the Father all the distress of the world and she implores peace and the grace of perseverance in the expectation of Christ’s return.


The Challenge for Us


In conclusion, Villaroman gave the Mission Core members a faith and action challenge: “In the next seven days, find time in your personal prayer to meditate on the Lord’s Prayer. Direct your seven petitions to someone you think needs it the most.”


“Prayer is the way we live our relationship with God. We need to pray better because that is one of the ways by which we can live better.”(Andrelene Veloso)


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