Twenty-ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time, October 20
Does God Find Us Persevering in Our Prayer? Does He Find Us Strong in the Faith We Profess and Live Daily, or Does He Find Us Coming-Up Short in the Life We Are Living on This Side of Heaven?
Both the opening and closing verses in today’s Gospel speak much about the world in which you and I live today, “…pray always without becoming weary.” And “…when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
I know that I have asked this before, but how often do we find ourselves presenting a laundry list of problems that we would like God to fix for us? How often do we find ourselves placing our needs and concerns at the very feet of our Lord, imploring His help – realizing that He is the only One who can truly answer our prayers?
More often than not, when we are in need, we find ourselves talking to God several times throughout the day – more like a conversation rather than formalized prayer.
But, at least, even when we present our needs and our wishes before His Throne, we have taken the time to acknowledge that He is the only One who is truly able to address our deepest concerns. And no matter what our conversation with God may be about, we almost always feel better after having spent some quality time speaking with Him.
It is as though He comforts us by our choosing to spend some personal time with the God who loves each one of us beyond all manner of human description.
Our Lord once said, “…ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds…” Yet, we also know that, even though God does listen to and answer every one of our requests, His answers may not always be what we had requested, or what we had thought of or expected.
Sometimes, our requests may be based upon vanity or selfish desires. When our own ego becomes an impediment for us, we oftentimes confuse the voice of God or misunderstand His answer to us. In these instances, God’s answers are not necessarily what we sought.
It is only when we seek His help with a truly humbled and contrite, sorrowful heart that we begin to understand the old mantra – “When God closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.”
Perseverance in prayer, constantly knocking on the door of God’s Heart, means to pray always and not to become despondent and give up! Perseverance in prayer means to be filled with the faith which we profess, especially when all that we can see around us is darkness –
– whether that darkness be the result of some financial difficulty which is overwhelming us, problems in the workplace, concerns about those whom we love as we watch them make poor decisions in their lives, anxieties over health issues, finding ourselves grieving over the loss of a loved one, or any other number of personal concerns or anxieties which can weigh upon our minds, our hearts and our souls, especially when we reflect upon the direction our world’s cultures are heading.
Trusting in God’s Love for you and me, no matter in what circumstances we may find ourselves, means that we are to let go of all that keeps us from truly living our faith! Trusting in God’s Love means that we totally place our dependence upon the One who created us, upon the One who saves us, upon the One who sanctifies and strengthens us as we travel through the many peaks and valleys of this life.
Even though Paul was advising Timothy how to preach and minister to those under his pastoral care, we can apply some of his words in today’s Second Reading to our own prayer life, “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power…be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient.”
Persistence and perseverance in our prayer does require a commitment on our part – embracing the faith we have been given with a steadfast trust in God’s providential care for all that we endure and experience in life, and believing that our God is no stranger to our daily needs. Did He not teach His disciples and us how to pray to His Father in Heaven, “Give us today our daily bread” ?
And in today’s Gospel, after teaching His disciples a parable about “the dishonest judge”, Jesus poses the question, “Will not God then secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night? Will he be slow to answer them?”
Relying upon God, depending upon Him in both the good and bad times in our life – during those moments when all seems right with the world, and especially during those times when we are filled with anxiety or sadness – allows us to be filled with a confidence, a sense of assurance that God is always with us, that He is always at our side!
Sadly, however, I am sure that we have all met people, at one time or another, whose lives are driven by feelings or emotions of self-centeredness, who are so completely absorbed in themselves that the very thought of God takes a backseat to their own pride and selfishness.
It is not that we judge them for their behavior, as our Lord would frown upon such actions on our part. But by objectively observing what they are doing, we instinctively know that such behavior is contrary to all that our faith teaches us, to all that our Lord expects of us. And it is to them that our Lord is addressing His words, “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
Whether the Parousia, the Second Coming of Christ, occurs or does not occur in our lifetime should not be a matter that overwhelms us! Instead, we should be focused on the fact that our Lord will come for us at a time when we least expect it, whether it be in the normal course of one’s lifetime or our Lord’s Coming in all His Glory.
In either event, and when that moment happens, will He find us persevering in our life of prayer? Will He find us strong in the faith we profess and live daily, or will He find us “coming-up short” in the life we have lived on this side of Heaven?
If He finds us waiting, with our lamps alit, unreservedly and totally trusting in Him and His Merciful Love, He will leave us lacking for nothing, for all our needs shall be met and cared for throughout all eternity in His Kingdom!
God is constantly inviting each of us to set ourselves firm for the sake of His Name, accepting and embracing nothing less than His Love, His Mercy and His Compassion – all for His greater honor and glory, and for the sake of our eternal salvation! For this is truly the faith which our Lord invites us to espouse and live in our hearts and souls each and every day of our lives!
May God bless you, God love you, and may God always keep you. †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “Then [Jesus] told them a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.” (Luke 18:1a)
- “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8b)
- “…ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10)
- “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” (Matthew 21:22)
- “Give us today our daily bread.” (Matthew 6:11)
- “I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingly power…be persistent whether it is convenient or inconvenient.” (2 Timothy 3:1, 2b)
- “Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and evidence of things not seen…without faith, it is impossible to please [God], for anyone who approaches God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:1, 6)
- “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7)
- “The LORD is far from the wicked, but hears the prayer of the just.” (Proverbs 15:29)
- “At dusk, dawn, and noon I will grieve and complain, and my prayer will be heard.” (Psalm 55:18)
- “Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.” (Romans 12:12)
- “So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help.” (Hebrews 4:16)
Prayer for the Day
“O Lord, we ask for a boundless confidence
and trust in Your Divine Mercy,
and the courage to accept the crosses and sufferings
which bring immense goodness
to our souls and that of Your Church.
“Help us to love You with a pure and contrite heart,
and to humble ourselves beneath Your Cross,
as we climb the mountain of holiness,
carrying our cross that leads to Heavenly glory.
“May we receive You with great faith
and love in Holy Communion,
and allow You to act in us,
as You desire, for Your greater glory.
“O Jesus, Most Adorable Heart
and Eternal Fountain of Divine Love,
may our prayer find favor before
the Divine Majesty of Your Heavenly Father. Amen.”Saint Padre Pio