It is a very brief word that begins the Lord’s prayer, “Our”, as in “Our Father.” Note that it is in the first person plural. Such a little insight, yet such a powerful one.
We live in times that emphasize the first person singular: I, me, mine my rights, my opinion, my choice, my lifestyle, my personal statement, my personal relationship with God, the God of my understanding, etc.
We could probably do with a little more the first person plural. Our Lord, our Father, our family, our children, our Catholic faith, our heritage, our common lot.
Yes, just a little more of the first person plural.
At a funeral yesterday, a priest friend of mine said of the deceased simply, “She lived her life in the first person plural.” And all the assembled nodded their heads as they recalled how she had summoned them to family unity, and lived her life caring for others. Yes, and Ms. Lillie insisted that her children and grandchildren. and great-grandchildren should do the same, living decent, God-fearing lives, living in a way that was respectable, and respected others. And she insisted on justice, caring for those in need in the family, and beyond.
Yes, living our lives in the first person plural, something to think about, something to recover.
It is true, there is a certain glory in the insistence of our modern age on the dignity and the rights of the individual. But too often, we fail to balance it properly with the common good. We do well to remember once again the first person plural. Are we individuals? Yes, but we’re all in this together.
Am I my brother’s keeper? You are indeed. First person plural: “Our Father…”