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Praying is not enough

 

 

Good morning, happy Thursday, and many blessings.

 

The Gospel today (Luke 11:5-13) continues to speak about the theme of prayer, which began with the teaching of the Our Father (Luke 11: 1-4). Today, Jesus teaches that we should pray with faith and insistence without giving up. For this He uses a provocative parable.

 

As always when Jesus has an important thing to teach, He has recourse to a comparison, a parable. Today, He tells us a strange story which ends with a question. He addresses the question to the people who listened to Him and also to us who today read or listen to the story. "Suppose one of you has a friend and goes to him in the middle of the night to say: My friend, lend me three loaves because a friend of mine on his travels has just arrived at my house and I have nothing to offer him; and the man answers from inside the house: “Do not bother me. The door is bolted now and my children are with me in bed: I cannot get up to give it to you". Before Jesus himself gives the answer, He wants our opinion. What would you answer: yes or no?

 

Jesus then gives this response: "I tell you, if the man does not get up and give it to him for friendship's sake, persistence will make him get up and give his friend all he wants". If not Jesus, would you have had the courage to invent a story which suggests that God expects our prayers to see himself free from blows? The response of Jesus strengthens the message on prayer: God always expects our prayer. This parable reminds us of another one, also found in Luke's Gospel: the parable of the widow who insists to obtain her rights before the judge who respects neither God nor justice. He pays attention to the widow only because he wants to free himself from her insistence (Luke 18: 3-5). Then Jesus draws a conclusion to apply the message of the parable to life.

 

The first application of the Parable. "So I say to you: Ask, and it will be given to you, search and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, everyone who searches finds, everyone who knocks will have the door opened". To ask, to search, to knock at the door. If you ask, you will receive. If you search, you will find. If you knock, the door will be opened for you. Jesus does not say how much time the request should last, this knocking at the door, but the result is certain.

 

The second application of the parable. "What father {or mother} among you, if his son asked for a fish, would hand him a snake? Or if he asked for an egg, hand him a scorpion?" This second application allows us to see this type of public listening to the words of Jesus and his way of teaching under the form of dialogue. He asks: "You who are a father, when your son asks you for a fish, would you give him a snake?" The people answer: "No!" "And if he asks you for an egg, would you give him a scorpion?" -"No!" Through dialogue, Jesus involves the people in the comparison and, from the responses He receives from them, the commitment to the message of the parable.

Prayer demands practice and perseverance, courage, and confidence. “Ask”, “seek” and “knock”. We may ask for the wrong thing, but we will receive what we need, rather than what we want. This trust should be at the root of all prayer. Jesus makes it clear that we must never give up praying. Today I invite you to meditate on this question: When you pray, do you pray convinced that you will obtain what you ask for? You have to pray, and you have to pray.

 

Today I invite you to reflect with me on this stanza of Ali Primera's song: No, no, praying isn’t enough. Many things are needed in order to obtain peace. In the world, there won’t be peace while exploitation of humans by humans and inequality exists. In other words, start the day with prayer and end with actions. 

 

Blessings,

 

Fr. Luis+

Date news: 
Thursday, October 8, 2020 - 12:00