FR. MIKE’S DAILY HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE 11TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE II

FR. MIKE’S DAILY HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE 11TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE II

THEME: THE BEST PRAYER

BY: Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

HOMILY FOR THURSDAY JUNE 16 2022

Mt 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows







FR. MIKE’S DAILY HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE 11TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE II

THEME: THE BEST PRAYER

BY: Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

HOMILY FOR THURSDAY JUNE 16 2022

 

 

Mt 6:7-15

Jesus said to his disciples: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This is how you are to pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread; and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors; and do not subject us to the final test, but deliver us from the evil one.
If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”

‘More’ does not necessarily mean ‘better’. This applies to prayer as well. Using more words does not always mean better prayer. Jesus criticized the scribes and Pharisees and other hypocrites like them for the way they pray. So, He advised His followers: “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them.”

In the Gospel today, the Lord points out that using many words is not what really matters in praying and is not a guarantee that God will listen. St. John Vianney said, “We do not have to talk very much in order to pray well. We know that God is there in His holy tabernacle; let us open our hearts to Him; let us rejoice in His Presence: This is the best prayer.”

Actually, there may not be any need for many words because, as Jesus said, “your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” If that is so, why still bother to pray? Well, we must remember that we pray not only because we need something from God. Rather, we pray because we love Him and we need to constantly communicate and be in union with Him.

Needless to say, prayer is more a matter of the heart, than of the mouth. It is love more than words, according to St. Josemaría de Balaguer. He said that prayer ʺis not a question of what you say or feel, but of love. And you love when you try hard to say something to the Lord, even though you might not actually say anything… You don’t know how to pray? Put yourself in the presence of God, and as soon as you have said, ‘Lord, I don’t know how to pray!’ you can be sure you have already begun.”

In today’s Gospel, Jesus instructs his disciples on how they should pray. He personally teaches this prayer, and that is why it is called ‘The Lord’s Prayer. And since it is addressed to the heavenly Father, and begins with the words, ‘Our Father’, is became popularly known as ‘The Our Father Prayer’. We all know this prayer since childhood, and we recite it often in our private and community prayers, especially during every Mass. In his Catechetical Instruction (‘Opuscala’ or ‘Little Treatises’), St. Thomas Aquinas asserts that the ‘Our Father’ occupies the principal place among all prayers, This is because it has the five requisite qualities of all prayers: confident, ordered, suitable (for what is right), devout and humble.

It should be noted, however, that this prayer is not simply a formula that is to be memorized and recited perfunctorily. Rather, it is a prayer that reveals our relationship with God our loving Father. It contains a series of declarations and petitions that affirm our faith and total dependence on Him. At the same time, it expresses our commitment to love and serve others for we are all His children, and thus, brothers and sisters to one another.

The Gospel today reminds us that prayer is indispensable in our life. St. Padre Pio rightly describes prayer as the “oxygen of the soul.” Just as we don’t forget to breathe in air and oxygen to ensure the survival of our bodies, so also we should not neglect prayer that sustains our spiritual life.

Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

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