October 8, 2020 – 27th Week in Ordinary Time

Remaining persevering and persistent in our life of prayer by ‘shaking off all shovels of struggles and stepping up in faith!’”

(Based on Gal 3:1-5 and Lk 11:5-13 – Thursday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time)

The familiar story of the donkey falling into a deep pit is probably known to most of us.

The animal cried piteously for hours, as its farmer tried to pull out the donkey from the deep pit.

However the depth of the pit, caused all efforts of rescue to go in vain,

Finally giving up all hope, the man decided to bury the donkey.

He even called his neighbours to help him cover the donkey with dirt and mud.

But tough situations are always occasions for one to show one’s mettle!

Perseverance and determination are necessary companions in any endeavour of life!

The donkey initially felt extremely desperate as to what was happening…
… but in a short time – to everyone’s amazement – the donkey managed to come up

What it did was quite astonishing…
… with every shovel of mud that fell on its back, the donkey would shake it off, and step up on the mud!

Shake off and step up… shake off and step up…
… Continuing this process, pretty soon, the donkey was out of the pit!

Life often throws shovels of dirt and mud – in the form of struggles, hardships, rejections, disappointments

But it is left to us, to “shake off and step up!”

We need to remain persevering and persistent in all what we do…
… and this is very true especially in our life of faith, in our life of prayer!

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 traveller 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 traveller came to his house.

His condition was so pitiable that he did not even have 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, one 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 any 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!

Pope St John XXIII said: “Prayer is the raising of the mind to God.

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

Tough situations are always occasions for one to show one’s mettle!

Perseverance and determination are necessary companions in any endeavour of life – especially in journey of faith!

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!”

Yes, life often throws shovels of dirt and mud – in the form of struggles, hardships, rejections, disappointments

But it is left to us, to “shake off and step up!”

Let us remain persevering and persistent in our life of faith and our life of prayer!

God Bless! Live Jesus!


Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Prayer is a sovereign remedy; it lifts the mind to God, Who is our only Joy and Consolation!

When you pray, let your words and affections – whether interior or exterior – all tend to love and trust in God!”


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