Who Do You Say That I Am? - Part 27
XXVII. Next, the Lord’s Prayer acknowledges the holiness of “our Father”: “Hallowed be Thy name.” This connects us to the Second Commandment, not to take the name of the Lord in vain; and even further, to the revelation of the divine name to Moses from the burning bush in Exodus 3. The context is the polytheism of Moses’ time (and in many ways, our own time as well) – if there are many “gods” that people follow, how is Moses to identify this particular god in whose name he is sent to Pharoah?
The revealed name is familiar to us as Yahweh (more accurately in the Hebrew of the time, which lacked written vowels, YHWH). Literally, this means “I am who am.” It is, as the Pope notes, both a name and a non-name at the same time. God is not one of a group, not part of a larger set of divine beings; God simply is, the one and only God. This Name of God is not just a label or title; it is a theological statement, a claim that this God alone is God.
To hallow this Name – to regard it with reverence, awe, faith, and obedient trust – is not simply to refrain from taking the Name in vain. It is to affirm with mind, heart, and manner of life that God alone is One, Good, True, and Beautiful. To hallow the Name is to claim allegiance to God, to desire to belong only to this God. God is thus not one part of life, a religious component of our interests that we can arrange alongside our hobbies, career, relationships, and other aspects of life. Hallowed by Thy Name means that God is at the core of all that is, and all we are.