November 18, 2017 – Saturday in the 32nd Week of the Church Yea

Today’s Celebration: Dedication of the Churches of Saints Peter and Paul

Scripture readings for today’s Liturgy:

Wisdom 18:14-16; 19:6-9 – Psalm 105 – Luke 18:1-8

“Jesus told his disciples a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.” (Luke 18:1)

 This admonition from the beginning of today’s Holy Gospel needs to be taken seriously but with a clearer understanding that our needs or desires are always limited and we are usually praying from our perspective and not from God’s.

Bottom line – before we even get in to this: God doesn’t need our poor prayers but he does desire us to be prayerfully in His presence. Prayer, when it brings us into God’s presence, changes us more than it changes things outside of us. When we begin to seek God we are gradually eased into being able to see the things and circumstances around us in a new light.

They tell the story of “Hershel” who pleaded with God, “Oh, God hear my prayer. Let me win the lottery!” And God responded, “Hershel, meet me halfway. Buy a lottery ticket!”

There was a time when our Dominicans were at both Arizona State University and University of Arizona. Chaplains from both of the Campus Ministries were also chaplains for both football teams.   I always wondered what God did when both teams met for a “prayer service” hopping to win. Did their prayers cancel each other out? Or, did God just toss a coin to see who should win?

I often heard people saying, “Prayer changes things” but I think it’s more precise to say that “Prayer changes US more than it changes things outside of us. True, heartfelt prayer needs to move us closer into the heart of God in order for us to be able to begin to see what’s really important. As we refine and purify our prayer we will begin to see more clearly what our own, personal life is all about. Then, our real bottom line becomes our ability to have care for widows and orphans and to bring sight to the blind. To free those kept captive from knowing God’s healing and loving presence.

When our prayer becomes more about things outside of ourselves, rather than a “gimme, gimme” prayer we will see that God – on the rebound – has more than answered our prayers.

“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God – and His righteousness – and all these things will be added unto you!” (Matthew 6:33) Amen!


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