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Why the Our Father includes a prayer for Jesus’ final coming


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Philip Kosloski - published on 12/05/21

Every time we pray the Our Father we ask that "thy Kingdom come," looking forward to Jesus' final coming at the end of time.

Many Christians pray the Our Father on a daily basis, but often we don’t focus on all the various petitions that are included in that perfect prayer.

One petition in particular should be startling, as it looks forward to Jesus’ final coming at the end of this world.

Thy Kingdom come

The Catechism of the Catholic Church expounds on this simple phrase in the Our Father and explains its background.

In the New Testament, the word basileia can be translated by “kingship” (abstract noun), “kingdom” (concrete noun) or “reign” (action noun). The Kingdom of God lies ahead of us. It is brought near in the Word incarnate, it is proclaimed throughout the whole Gospel, and it has come in Christ’s death and Resurrection. The Kingdom of God has been coming since the Last Supper and, in the Eucharist, it is in our midst. The kingdom will come in glory when Christ hands it over to his Father.

CCC 2816

In particular, the petition is reminiscent of another phrase in the New Testament.

This petition is “Marana tha,” the cry of the Spirit and the Bride: “Come, Lord Jesus.

CCC 2817

It may seem strange to continually pray for Jesus’ final coming, but for the Christian, this should motivate us to do good on earth while we have the time.

In the Lord’s Prayer, “thy kingdom come” refers primarily to the final coming of the reign of God through Christ’s return. But, far from distracting the Church from her mission in this present world, this desire commits her to it all the more strongly. Since Pentecost, the coming of that Reign is the work of the Spirit of the Lord who “complete[s] his work on earth and brings us the fullness of grace.”

CCC 2818

Knowing that Jesus will come again, the Christian looks to infuse the Reign of God into modern culture, preparing the way for the Lord to come again.

By a discernment according to the Spirit, Christians have to distinguish between the growth of the Reign of God and the progress of the culture and society in which they are involved. This distinction is not a separation. Man’s vocation to eternal life does not suppress, but actually reinforces, his duty to put into action in this world the energies and means received from the Creator to serve justice and peace.

CCC 2820

As Christians, every time we pray the Our Father we look forward to the future and use our time wisely to prepare for that day, a day that we do not want to take us by surprise.

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