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Thursday, July 15, 1999

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St. Bonaventure

Exodus 3:11-20
Psalm 105:1, 5, 8-9, 24-27
Matthew 11:28-30

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dare to say "abba"

"If they ask me, 'What is His name?' what am I to tell them?" —Exodus 3:13

Moses asked God to tell him His name. Several hundred years after making Abraham the father of the nation of Israel, the Lord told His chosen people His name. God said that His name was "I AM WHO AM" (Ex 3:14). God called Himself the supreme, eternal Being Who is the Cause of all being. God's name is so mysterious and holy that it should never be spoken.

Well over a millennium later, Jesus, the Son of God, told us how to address God. We were no longer to think of God as only the great I AM. We were also to address Him as "Abba," that is, "Daddy" (Lk 11:2; Mt 6:9). This was more than shocking. It was apparently blasphemous. The only justification for saying such a thing was that Jesus, "true God from true God," told us we could dare to do this.

Therefore, address God as "Abba." This means He has adopted you as His child. You are chosen and loved. He has made you "a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people He claims for His own" (1 Pt 2:9). With and in Christ, you are an heir of Abba's kingdom (Rm 8:17). The whole world has stopped and been transformed because Jesus told us to call God "Abba."

Prayer:  Abba...

Promise:  "Come to Me, all you who are weary and find life burdensome, and I will give you rest." —Mt 11:28, our transl.

Praise:  St. Bonaventure was a Doctor of the Church, a Cardinal, a prolific spiritual writer, a leader in the Franciscan order, and a lifelong minister of reconciliation.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, November 28, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 1, 1998