Thursday, 20 June 2019 : 11th Week of Ordinary Time (Homily and Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of God in the Scripture speaking to us about the matter of prayer and how we should be praying to the Lord in the right way. We should understand what prayer truly is, that is communication and connection between God and us, an intimate and close relationship between us and Him and not as what many of us might have thought.

Many of us prayed because we wanted something to be fulfilled, which are things that we did not have and then now desire to have, and we ask God for the favour hoping that we may get what we want through prayer. But when we do not get what we want through our prayers, we become angry with God and become disillusioned with Him, often causing us to forget about God and abandon Him without knowing and understanding His true intentions for us.

Instead, true prayer must be first and foremost an active and fruitful conversation between two parties, that is between us and God, or between our community and God in our communal prayers gathered together by the priest for example during the intercessions and the collect during the Holy Mass. First and foremost we must be willing to listen and we must be open-minded and be willing to accept the word of God in our heart and mind.

That is what true prayer is all about. Without the open-minded attitude and willingness to listen to the Lord speaking in our hearts, and with our insistence to have our desires and wishes heard by God, our prayer will not end up being genuine or true, and instead of a good and fruitful prayer, we will have something akin to the whining of a child who does not get what he wants from his or her father.

How do we pray then? It is by following the example of what the Lord Jesus Himself has done. The Lord Jesus, although He is indeed God, but at the same time, in His person, He also unites to Himself the Humanity, the Son of Man and Son of God, two natures in one person, Jesus Christ, and in today’s Gospel, we heard of the prayer which the Lord Jesus Himself had made to His heavenly Father, as a Son praying to His Father.

He showed us all how we mankind, united to His own Humanity, should be praying. First of all in prayer we glorify God and we thank Him for all that He has done for us, and we open our minds to listen to His will, and acknowledge that whatever it is that we seek or request from Him, His will ultimately shall be done. What the Lord Jesus had said in His prayer is the expression of what true prayer is like, a prayer where we mankind seek to glorify and to come into close and genuine contact with Our Lord and Saviour, Our loving Heavenly Father.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, following the examples of the Lord’s own prayer, are we able to deepen our own relationship with God, and strengthen our own spiritual life by devoting ourselves to the Lord and by refocusing our lives on God instead on our own selfish desires in life? Let us all reflect on this as we continue living our lives in this world, as St. Paul mentioned in his Epistle today, being tempted constantly by the forces of the devil.

Let us all be strengthened by our sincere and genuine prayer, committing ourselves to the Lord anew, with a new and more devoted heart and mind, that are constantly attuned to the Lord, our heavenly Father in prayer, at all times. Let us all be ever prayerful and commit ourselves, day after day, to be ever closer to God and to be more faithful to Him each and every days of our lives. May the Lord continue to bless us all and may He listen to our sincere prayers and supplications. Amen.

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