The first petition is “Hallowed be thy Name.” (Matthew 6:9; see also Psalms 99:3; 105:1–3; John 12:27–28; see questions 283–89)
See how He straightway stirred up the hearer, and reminded him of all God’s bounty in the beginning. For he who calls God Father, by him both remission of sins, and taking away of punishment, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption, and adoption, and inheritance, and brotherhood with the Only-Begotten, and the supply of the Spirit, are acknowledged in this single title. For one cannot call God Father, without having attained to all those blessings. Doubly, therefore, does He awaken their spirit, both by the dignity of Him who is called on, and by the greatness of the benefits which they have enjoyed. But when He says, in Heaven, He speaks not this as shutting up God there, but as withdrawing him who is praying from earth, and fixing him in the high places, and in the dwellings above. He teaches, moreover, to make our prayer common, in behalf of our brethren also. For He says not, my Father, which art in Heaven, but, our Father, offering up his supplications for the body in common, and nowhere looking to his own, but everywhere to his neighbor’s good. And by this He at once takes away hatred, and quells pride, and casts out envy, and brings in the mother of all good things, even charity, and exterminates the inequality of human things, and shows how far the equality reaches between the king and the poor man, if at least in those things which are greatest and most indispensable, we are all of us fellows. For what harm comes of our kindred below, when in that which is on high we are all of us knit together, and no one has anything more than another; neither the rich more than the poor, nor the master than the servant, neither the ruler than the subject, nor the king than the common soldier, nor the philosopher than the barbarian, nor the skillful than the unlearned? For to all has He given one nobility, having vouchsafed to be called the Father of all alike. 7. When therefore He has reminded us of this nobility, and of the gift from above, and of our equality with our brethren, and of charity; and when He has removed us from earth, and fixed us in Heaven; let us see what He commands us to ask after this. Not but, in the first place, even that saying alone is sufficient to implant instruction in all virtue. For he who has called God Father, and a common Father, would be justly bound to show forth such a conversation, as not to appear unworthy of this nobility, and to exhibit a diligence proportionate to the gift. Yet is He not satisfied with this, but adds, also another clause, thus saying, Hallowed be Your name. Worthy of him who calls God Father, is the prayer to ask nothing before the glory of His Father, but to account all things secondary to the work of praising Him. For hallowed is glorified. For His own glory He has complete, and ever continuing the same, but He commands him who prays to seek that He may be glorified also by our life. Which very thing He had said before likewise, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 Yea, and the seraphim too, giving glory, said on this wise, Holy, holy, holy. So that hallowed means this, viz. glorified. That is, vouchsafe, says he, that we may live so purely, that through us all may glorify You. Which thing again appertains unto perfect self-control, to present to all a life so irreprehensible, that every one of the beholders may offer to the Lord the praise due to Him for this.
Cyril of Alexandria
Father, glorify Thy name. He then makes a request of His Father and exhibits the outward appearance of prayer, not as being weak in respect of that Nature which is Almighty, but in respect of His Manhood, ascribing to the Divine Nature those attributes that are superhuman; not implying that the Divine Nature was something external to Himself, since He calls God His own Father, but in full consciousness that universal power and glory would be the lot of both Father and Son. And whether the text has: Glorify Thy Son, or: Glorify Thy Name, makes no difference in the exact significance of the ideas conveyed. Christ however, despising death and the shame of suffering, looking only to the objects to be achieved by the suffering, and almost beholding the death of all mankind already passing out of sight as an effect of the death of His Own Flesh; knowing that the power of corruption was on the point of being for ever destroyed, and that the nature of man would be thenceforth transformed to a newness of life: He all but says something of this sort to God the Father: “The body, O Father, shrinks from encountering the suffering, and dreads that death which is unnatural to it; nay more, it seems a thing not to be endured that One Who is enthroned with Thee and Who possesses Almighty power should be grossly outraged by the audacious insults of the Jews; but since this is the cause for which I have come, glorify Thy Son, that is, prevent Me not from encountering death, but grant this favour to Thy Son for the good of all mankind.” And that the Evangelist in some other places also speaks of the Cross under the name of “glory,” thou mayest learn from what he says: For the Holy Spirit was not yet [given]; because Jesus was not yet glorified. For in his wisdom he in these words speaks of being “crucified” as being “glorified:” and the Cross is a glory. For although at the season of His Passion, Christ willingly and patiently endured many contumelies, and moreover underwent voluntarily for our sake sufferings which He might have refused to suffer; surely the undergoing this for the benefit of others is a characteristic of excessive compassion and of supreme glory. And the Son became glorious also in another way. For from the fact that He overpowered death, we recognise Him to be Life and Son of the Living God. And the Father is glorified, when He is seen to have such a Son begotten of Himself, of the same Nature as Himself. And He is Good, Light, Life, and superior to death, and One Who does whatsoever He will. And when He says: Glorify Thy Son, He means this: “Give Thy consent to Me in My willingness to suffer.” For the Father gave up the Son to death, not without taking counsel, but in willingness for the life of the world: therefore the Father’s consent is spoken, of as a bestowal of blessings upon us; for instead of “suffering” He spake of “glory.” And this also He says as a Pattern for us: for while on the one hand we ought to pray that we fall not into temptation, yet on the other hand if we should be so tried we ought to bear it nobly and not to rush away from it, but to pray that we may be saved unto God. But Glorify Thy Name. For if through our dangers it comes to pass that God is glorified, let all things be accounted secondary to that end. Moreover, just as death was brought to naught in no other way than by the Death of the Saviour, so also with regard to each of the sufferings of the flesh: for unless He had felt dread, human nature could not have become free from dread; unless He had experienced grief, there could never have been any deliverance from grief; unless He had been troubled and alarmed, no escape from these feelings could have been found. And with regard to every one of the affections to which human nature is liable, thou wilt find exactly the corresponding thing in Christ. The affections of His Flesh were aroused, not that they might have the upper hand as they do indeed in us, but in order that when aroused they might be thoroughly subdued by the power of the Word dwelling in the flesh, the nature of man thus undergoing a change for the better. Since therefore that which is the outcome of thoughts could not truly happen to inanimate flesh, but on the contrary is suitable to a human and rational soul; how can it be improper to imagine that we think rightly in assigning the suffering to it [i. e. the human soul,] rather than in casting it upon the Nature of the Godhead, [as we must do] by forcible and inevitable reasoning, if truly (in accordance with their doctrine) the Divine Nature dwelling in Christ’s body occupied the place of the soul?
Leave a Reply