HOME CHAT NAB PRAYERS FORUMS COMMUNITY RCIA MAGAZINE CATECHISM LINKS CONTACT
 CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC SAINTS INDEX  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 CATHOLIC DICTIONARY  A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Home
 
Bible
 
Catechism
 
Chat
 
Catholic Encyclopedia
 
Church Fathers
 
Classics Library
 
Church Documents
 
Discussion
 
Mysticism
 
Prayer
 
Prayer Requests
 
RCIA
 
Vocations
 
Ray of Hope
 
Saints
 
Social Doctrine
 
Links
 
Contact
 







A Commentary Upon The Gospel According To Saint Luke -St. Cyril

Upon “Thy will be done; as in heaven, so on earth.”

THE prophet David made his supplications to Christ the Saviour of all, saying, “Lead me unto Thy truth, and teach me that Thou art God my Saviour.” For all those are taught of God who are in Christ by faith; and among these are we. Of Him, therefore, let us ask the explanation of His words: for whosoever would understand correctly and without error what He wishes to teach, are in need of divine light: but He is the Giver of all wisdom, and sheds His light upon the mind and heart of those that ask Him. For again the Psalmist said, “Open mine eyes, and I shall behold Thy wonders out of Thy law.” Let us, therefore, examine this part also of the prayer: for it will profit us in no slight degree to the salvation of the soul. Why then did He command the saints to say unto God the Father in heaven, “Thy will be done; as in heaven, so in earth?”

Worthy of the saints, and full of all praise is this petition also. For for them to ask that the good-will of God may prevail on earth, what else is it but to ask that all mankind may lead praiseworthy and elect lives, and practise and know all virtue? By so doing, the holy angels, we affirm, dwell in glory in heaven: for it is written; “Bless the Lord all ye His powers; His ministers who do His will.” For by adhering to the will of their Lord, and fulfilling that righteousness which transcends human things, they preserve their high estate, whereas those who acted otherwise fell therefrom.

But to gather to a head, and, so to speak, collect briefly the meaning of the words, we supplicate, that power may be given to the dwellers upon earth to do the will of God, and imitate the conduct practised above in heaven by the holy angels. Let us see, therefore, as well as we can, in what way the powers above and the ranks of the holy angels successfully perform their duty. How do they honour God? Is it by sacrifices of blood? Is it by perfume and frankincense, as forsooth the Israel after the flesh did? But this I think is altogether incredible both to think and say. For it is rather true to affirm that they fulfil a spiritual and not a material service, ever crowning with lauds and praises the Creator of all, and fulfilling that righteousness which is suitable to holy spirits. Those, therefore, who in their prayers ask that the will of God may be done also on earth, ought necessarily themselves to live blamelessly, and to pay no regard to these earthly things, but free themselves from all impurity, and leap out of the pitfalls of iniquity, and “perfect holiness in the fear of God;” that as Paul also saith, even while walking upon earth, “their conversation may be in heaven.” And above all others let those who belong to the Jewish multitude, but have been enriched with the righteousness that is in Christ by faith, know that it is altogether fitting for them if they would fulfil the word of God, to cease from the shadows of the law, and abandon the service that consists in semblances and types: and choose rather the service which is spiritual, and pure, and immaterial. For as the Saviour somewhere said. God is a “Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. For such the Father also requireth those to be who worship Him.”

For that the legal manner of service is not what He requires, is a thing in no respect difficult to see from the prophetic and apostolic writings. For by the word of Jeremiah He says, “Why bring ye unto Me the frankincense from Sheba; and cinnamon from a far country? Your whole burnt-offering is not acceptable, and your sacrifices please Me not.” And by the voice of David, “I will not take bullocks from thy house, nor he goats out of thy flocks: should I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?” And the blessed Paul also shows that the service that is by the law is powerless unto justification, thus saying; “For that no man is justified by the law before God is evident.” The will therefore of God, that will which we pray may be done upon earth, is not that we should conform to the law, and live according to the grossness of its letter, but that we should endeavour to live by the gospel. And this is effected by a faith correct and free from error, and by a holy life, possessed of the sweet savour of every virtue, and proved by the testimony of good and noble conduct in every thing that is excellent.

And to explain also in another way the sense of what is laid before us, we say, that those who utter unto God the petition “Thy will be done, as in heaven so on earth,” pray that they may see the cessation of sin. For the law of Moses was given unto the Israelites to be their schoolmaster; but those who received it paid but slight heed to its commands: they were “lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God;” and turned aside to follow their own will: for they wandered after the doctrines and commandments of men. For God also somewhere said of them; “This people draweth near unto Me; with their lips they honour Me, but their heart is far from Me. But in vain fear they Me, while teaching the doctrines and commandments of men.” And He also said of them by the word of Jeremiah; “Hear, O earth, behold I bring upon this people evils; the fruit of their turning aside: because they have not regarded My Word, and have rejected My law.” Such then was the state of the Jews. But that other multitude, spread over the whole earth, was in error in manifold ways. “For they served the creatures instead of the Creator:” and having humbled their mind to submission unto unclean spirits, were led by them readily and without understanding, into every thing base, and every kind of wickedness was honoured among them, and “they gloried in their shame,” as Scripture saith.

The saints therefore supplicate, that both of these, as well Israel as the Gentiles, may be counted worthy of peace from on high, and be comforted in that they were in misery, and caught, so to speak, in the net of sin, without possibility of escape: that having received the righteousness which is in Christ by faith, they may become pure, and skilful in every good work. For this reason they pray, “Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth:” for as I said, the will of God over all is, that the dwellers upon earth should live holily, and piously, and without blame, being washed from all impurity, and diligent in imitating the spiritual beauty of the spirits above in heaven; so that the church on earth, being, as it were, the visible likeness and image of the “church of the firstborn” that is above, may please Christ; by Whom, and with Whom, to God the Father be praise and dominion with the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever, Amen.








Copyright ©1999-2018 e-Catholic2000.com