When I first started talking as a little boy, I remember my Mom taught me how to pray. My aunts followed this through, and one of the earliest prayers I learned is the Lord’s Prayer, together with the Hail Mary, the Glory be, and the Prayer to our Guardian Angel. Dosing off to sleep wasn’t possible unless I have said my prayers. My parents, aunts and Lola (when my parents were away) made sure that this “protocol” is done. So these prayers have roots and have become habits until now.
In today’s Gospel (Lk. 11: 1-13), one His disciples was asking Jesus,
“Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread
and forgive us our sins
for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,
and do not subject us to the final test.”
This prayer is passed on to us and we’ve seen its simplicity and effectiveness so to speak. It tells us how to pray and what we should say when we pray. For others, praying is just like asking God as if “ordering” something out of a menu. Just like a little kid praying for food and toys. Yet it shouldn’t be that way. God’s omnipotence already tells Him what we like and what we need. He’s our Creator and it’s His call to grant our prayer, give a “No”, or “Wait”. He’ll always be looking at what things are good for us, not only at the moment, but for developing our characters and souls. It’s always about Heaven and Eternity, and there’s no other way. Our Eternal Happiness matters the most so that He’ll be reunited with us someday. Purifying ourselves here so that we’ll have the “license” to face Him when it’s time. For how can we have the courage to meet Him considering our own sinfulness and blemishes?
In the First Reading (Gn. 18: 20-32), the
Lord was telling Abraham that the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great
and their sin so grave,
“… that I must go down and see whether or not their actions fully correspond to the cry against them that comes to me. I mean to find out.”
Then Abraham drew nearer to the Lord, asking Him,
“Will you sweep away the innocent with the guilty?
Suppose there were fifty innocent people in the city;
would you wipe out the place, rather than spare it
for the sake of the fifty innocent people within it?
Far be it from you to do such a thing,
to make the innocent die with the guilty
so that the innocent and the guilty would be treated alike!
Should not the judge of all the world act with justice?”
The Lord replied,
“If I find fifty innocent people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”
Abraham spoke up again, in all humility
“What if there are five less than fifty innocent people?
Will you destroy the whole city because of those five?”
He answered, “I will not destroy it, if I find forty-five there.”
But Abraham persisted, continued asking, and the Lord relenting until it was,
“What if there are at least ten there?” He replied, “For the sake of those ten, I will not destroy it.”
God’s love for us is so deep and unfathomable. For Him, the one last “innocent” soul is important. In the Second Reading (Col. 2: 12-14), St. Paul tells us that,
“And even when you were dead in transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He brought you to life along with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions; obliterating the bond against us, with its legal claims, which was opposed to us, He also removed it from our midst, nailing it to the cross.”
God cares for you deeply that He will do whatever it takes to get you out of the enemy’s grasp. He will allow sickness to engulf you, bankruptcy to level you and loneliness to bring you back to His side. For Him a decade or even a lifetime is but a zeptosecond compared to Eternity. (While we know of a millisecond as a thousandth of a second, and a nanosecond as a billionth of a second, there’s another measurement of time that makes both of them “look slow”. For the first time, Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics at the Technical University of Munich have been able to measure something in a zeptosecond, or a trillionth of a billionth of a second.) (www.huffpost.com)
As we pray, let us persevere, as the Lord has taught us that the more we pray and pray, provided we have sought forgiveness from our transgressions through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the more He yields and weakens to answer our prayers. As Jesus said to conclude the Gospel,
“If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”
This Sunday, let us pray that God grant us the wisdom to accept His will for our lives, trusting that it will bring us closer to Him. May we realize that God loves us so deeply that He only wants us to be happy and joyful. May we share His message of love to others as His children and creation.
“You have received a Spirit of adoption, through which we cry, Abba, Father.” (Rom. 8: 15bc)