The following is a short reflection by Rev. Marta Benavides that was published recently in a book titled:   Global MOSAIC: Favorite prayers and reflections from inspiring world humanitarians and given the context of CSW 56 this year I thought it would be appropriate to share it as we begin to process the work ahead.  This is also a reflection that I went back to meditate on later today as I participated in a powerful conversation with a group of women discussing the use of the word empowerment within the context of women and equality.  What was particular interesting was how these long time veterans actual saw empowerment as a diminishing word because it doesn’t fully capture the power that everyone is and our ability to excercise that power. Lots of food for thought.

Blessings on the journey looking forward to the remaining week and half at CSW 56.

Hierald Kane-Osorto

Reflecting on the Lord’s Prayer
By Rev. Marta Benavides

Rev. Marta Benavides was born and raised in El Salvador. She was responsible for setting up the first refugee centers and for much of the humanitarian work organised by Monsignor Oscar Romero, who died a martyr in 1980 during El Salvador’s civil war. Throughout this armed conflict (1980-1992), Marta worked nationally and internationally for a peaceful solution which was eventually achieved through United Nations peace accords. As leader of the Global Movement for Culture of Peace, Marta works ecumenically and with secular groups educating people for a culture of peace. Committed to social transformation, Martha’s focus is on peaceful relations with all humanity, and care for Mother Earth (www.museoaja.org).

Reflection on The Lord’s Prayer – Pray then like this:

Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed is thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
Matthew 6: 9-13.

 Reflections
The Lord’s Prayer appears in the Bible, the sacred book for all Christians around the world, as it was taught by our Brother Jesus, to be in communion with Our Father. For me, it is the most important and symbolic prayer.  It also affirms all of Jesus’ teachings. I call it the Our Father and Mother Prayer, in order to recognize both the Father and Mother presence in the Creator Spirit, and I recite it now as an affirmation not as a wish nor as a request, but  in recognition that all has been given to us already by the Great Spirit.

 Our Father- Mother who are in heaven, hallowed is thy name
Your kingdom is. Your will is done, on earth as it is in heaven,
You give us each day our daily bread and I work to make sure we all enjoy it.
You have forgiven us, since the beginning.
We have never had any debts, so no one owes me anything.
You never lead us into temptation, but you give us a life that challenges us to grow in wisdom and grace, thus you do not have to deliver us from evil for you are my and our light, if I so choose it, thus no evil is in my path and life.
For, I am in you as you are in me. And so it is.

This prayer, and the way I understand it, is fundamental to how I lead my life and ministry, understand the relationship with the Higher Spirit, and the way I understand how the Higher Spirit relates to humanity. Therefore, my ministry is about a responsible, caring relationship with each other, Mother Earth, and the Divine Being.  This prayer affirms the ‘how and why’ we are on earth; how we must go about manifesting God’s will here ‘on earth as it is in heaven.’  I affirm that this is our call and challenge – to discern and manifest God’s will in real time and intentionally here on earth.