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Thursday, June 18, 1998

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Sirach 48:1-14
Psalm 97
Matthew 6:7-15

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dare to say "abba"

"This is how you are to pray: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.' " —Matthew 6:9

The writer of Sirach exclaimed: "How awesome are you, Elijah!" (Sir 48:4) Yet the awesome Elijah is only a creature of the totally awesome God. "Let us praise Him the more, since we cannot fathom Him, for greater is He than all His works; awful indeed is the Lord's majesty, and wonderful is His power" (Sir 43:29-30). "To whom can you liken God? With what equal can you confront Him?" (Is 40:18)

Jesus instructs us to address as "Father," "Abba," "Daddy," this awesome, infinite, all-holy Creator-Savior God (Mt 6:9). This is shocking and would be considered blasphemous by anyone who does not accept Jesus' divine authority to authorize such an unprecedented way of addressing God.

Trusting in Jesus, we dare to address God as our "Abba." The Holy Spirit cries out in our hearts "Abba" (Gal 4:6; Rm 8:15). In the intimacy and security of Abba's love (Rm 5:5), we are freed from a "spirit of slavery" leading us "back into fear" (Rm 8:15). We glory in the freedom of being sons and daughters of Abba.

Jesus taught: "This is how you are to pray:" Abba! (Mt 6:9)

Prayer:  Abba...

Promise:  "During his lifetime he feared no one, nor was any man able to intimidate his will. Nothing was beyond his power." —Sir 48:12-13

Praise:  The Parker's decided to trust God the Father to determine the size of their family. They now have seven happy children, teach their children at home, and lead a home-based Christian community.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 29, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 2, 1997