Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Our Father

By Beth DeCristofaro

So shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)

Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying … Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:7)

Tatăl nostru  (Our Father)
Tatăl nostru
Care eşti în ceruri
Sfinţească-se numele Tău
Vie împărăţia Ta
Facă-se voia Ta
Precum în cer aşa şi pre Pământ
Pâinea noastră cea de toate zilele
Dă-ne-o nouă astăzi
Şi ne iartă nouă greşelile noastre
Precum şi noi iertăm greşiţilor noştri
Şi nu ne duce pre noi în ispită
Ci ne izbăveşte de cel rău
Că a Ta este împărăţia
Slava şi puterea
În numele Tatălui
Al Fiului
Al Sfântului Duh        Amin
(Romanian; language of my grandparents)

One of my favorite Super Bowl ads this year featured Americans singing “America the Beautiful” in several different languages.  It brought tears to my eyes to think of so many peoples, heritages, histories, values, aspirations, fears and faiths celebrating our country in song.  What a journey this country has had, virtuous and sinful, just like the Israelites in the desert, just like each of us in our Lenten pilgrimage.

In our home we have a cross with the Lord’s Prayer inscribed in Arabic.  I sure can’t say it!  But the script is lovely and it reminds me that my Father knows my prayer even if I don’t know what I need myself.  And that the Word has gone out to all God’s people.  On the internet one can find the Lord’s Prayer in hundreds and hundreds of languages.  As the faithful, from East to West, morning to night, lift their voices in prayer, I imagine that the words run together in a torrent of offering.   The Lord hears through the words to hearts full of faith, hopefulness, supplication, fear, anger, desperation, confidence, doubt, gratitude. 

Listen to the Words Jesus taught us in a language you do not know.  Listen several times so that you hear not the babble of unfamiliar words but rather be lifted up on the human desire to find God, to do God’s will and to be united with Our Father in heaven as Jesus, Word, showed us.

Some links: 

Aleut language thanks to the Orthodox Diocese in Alaska:    http://www.asna.ca/alaska/aleut/our-father.mp3

Old English (around 600 BCE)

Kiyombe, spoken by Yombe people in Western Central Africa; a dialect of Kongo.

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