Oct 11 (Lk 11:5-13)

Postal stamps seems to be slowly on the verge of extinction.

>> Some decades back, however, they formed an integral part of the world of communication.

These postage stamps hold an important attribute that we could emulate: they stick to one thing until they get there!

>> They remain persistent until, they reach their destination!

This is an important key in our spiritual life as well: Remaining persistent, till we reach our destination!

The Gospel of the Day presents before us the theme of Prayer with a special emphasis on perseverance and determination in prayer life.

This aspect of persistence in prayer through a parable:

>> A parable of a friend who knocked at the door of his friend at an odd midnight hour…seeking for some help.

Prayer invariably points to the notion of Necessity and Dependence in our lives: A necessity for various things…and a Dependence on God

>> A necessity of realizing our limitations…

… and a Dependence on the power of God

>> A necessity of moving out of our capabilities..

… and a Dependence on the strength of God

>> A necessity of knowing all things not possible for me…

… and a Dependence on the grace of God

For a moment, let us get into the shoes of this friend who faced this need of an unexpected traveler in his house…and thus forced to seek for help…

This man received an unexpected guest…

Probably, it was the end of all the chores of his day…and as he was retiring to bed, this traveler came to his house.

His condition was so pitiable that he did not even some morsels of food to be given.

>> He had the good will…

… but did not have the resources to help.

>> He had the good intentions…

… but did not have the supplies to assist.

Very often, we ourselves land up into such situations…

Perhaps someone drops in for a coffee…and lays bare their problems…

>> But we feel totally helpless how to help…

Perhaps we get a letter or a message…informing of some serious crisis…

>> But we feel totally helpless how to help…

Perhaps our close ones undergo some pain…and life becomes hard…

>> But we feel totally helpless how to help…

Perhaps we see many in absolute suffering…and our heart reaches out to them..

>> But we feel totally helpless how to help…

We ask ourselves: “What can I do?”

>> There is a strange, sinking sensation… a sense of pressure, almost terror: “What shall I say?“

The best you can do is just hope for a quiet moment when you can rush to God, our Great Neighbour and cry out to him, “A friend has come, and I have nothing to set before him.“

This happens often, doesn’t it?

It is out of such moments of deep necessity that true prayer is born.

>> It is out of such moments of genuine dependence that true prayer is born.

But that does not mean, that God, our Great neighbour has to be awakened from his slumber or who has to forced to render us help.

The point of the parable is that as a Person who is in necessity and who is dependent, ought to have a great level of patience & perseverance & determination.

In prayer, it often happens that we determine…

… the way

… the time

… the mode

… in which God should answer our requests!

But we often forget, that, the Great Neighbour, God…

… is also our loving Father.

… is also the One who cares deeply for us.

… is also Someone who wishes the best for us.

In Lk 11: 9, Jesus gives us the exciting verse, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

ASK…SEEK…KNOCK…all these three verbs indicate a continual process and a constant action.

“Keep on asking…keep on seeking…keep on knocking”.

The Lord is a Loving Father…

>> He does not demand perseverance because of some hard-heartedness..

Rather, He expects consistence and perseverance because of His deep and tender Love for us and wanting us to not get bogged down by mere material concerns…rather to SEEK HIM above all in prayer and to make HIM the greatest need of our lives!

St. Teresa of Avila says:

“Provided that we don’t give up, the Lord will guide everything for our benefit…!

There is no other remedy for this evil of giving up prayer than to begin again!”

Like postal stamps which have this key attribute: Remain persistent until, they reach their destination…

… may we grow in our perseverance and determination in prayer.

Today we seek the intercession of Pope St John XXIII – one of the most popular Popes of the 20th century – on this feast day.

>> He was the one who convoked the historical ‘Vatican Council II’, which paved the way for “throwing open the windows of the church, to let the fresh air of the Spirit blow through.”

Let us give heed to his words: “Prayer is the raising of the mind to God.

>> We must always remember this. The actual words matter less.”

God Bless! Live Jesus!

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