THEME: TRANSMISSION OF VALUE.
BY: Fr. Karabari Paul
HOMILY FOR WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 5 2022
“Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”
One dangerous way to live is to stay for days, weeks, or even months without prayer. There are some of us who don’t have a personal prayer life beyond church activities. Before we become Christians, we only have our own intelligence and abilities to rely on. But those things will only take us so far, and no further. But when we welcome God into our lives, we can trust Him for the wisdom, guidance, resources, and ability we need to fulfil His will for our lives. And this comes through prayer.
In the Gospel of today (Luke 11:1-4), we are that Jesus was praying in a certain place and when he ceased, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And He taught them. Sometimes He even prayed all night. And it showed. His incredible success flowed out of the rich relationship He had with His Father. He made deposits every morning so that He could make withdrawals all day long.
The request of the disciples of Jesus is never just about what to say but how to be connected to God. Even from what He taught them, it is clear that the reason we pray is much more important than the words we say. The motive is the why behind the what. And having a pure heart that loves God and loves people is always acceptable to Him. On the other hand, selfishness is unacceptable, revenge is unacceptable, manipulation and control are unacceptable, jealousy is unacceptable, pride is unacceptable, and praying to win the lottery is unacceptable. In fact, anything that is selfishly based is an unacceptable motive. The first and most important reason for prayer is to develop an intimate relationship with God.
Jesus said, ‘If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you’ (John 15:7). When we focus on ‘abiding’ in Christ, we will get a response to our ‘asking’. James wrote, ‘Your prayers are not answered, because you pray just for selfish reasons.’ The truth is, we are all naturally self-centred. That is why we need to purify our hearts on a regular basis. It means having a check-up of our motives for praying. It might be difficult, or even painful at first, but it is so worthwhile in growing our prayer life and relationship with God.
How do we transmit the value of a prayerful life to our children. Remember, the request of the disciples came after seeing Jesus prayed:
As a parent, you’re constantly transmitting your values to your children, so do these:
1) Let them see you pray. Help them to understand that prayer is how we build a lifelong friendship with God. And they will need His friendship when you’re not around to help them. God said, ‘When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honour them’ (Psalm 91:15).
2) Show them what God is like. Your child’s concept of God is formed by you. Whether you’re loving and protective or distant and cold, they will grow up understanding God through the interactions they have with you. Some examples are that God is never too busy to listen, He constantly tells us He loves us, and He is never abusive. Getting the idea?
3) Help them to see God in others. When kids are encouraged to see God at work in their own lives, they begin to discern Him at work in the lives of others too. When that happens, they will value and respect others and be valued and respected in return. That will help them to be secure and successful in life.
4) Don’t send them to church; take them. Children need to believe and belong. Teach them that just like a limb dies that is disconnected from a body, we die spiritually unless we are connected to a local church. ‘Belonging’ means they will always have a place to go. The Bible says, ‘Obey his laws…that things will go well for you and your children’ (Deuteronomy 4:40). Helping your kids to find the right path is the greatest gift you can give them. The should know how to visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and have a personal conversation with Him. They shouldn’t be mistaken your source of strength. Sometimes, what we show is not how worthy we are and the good works we do but our source of grace to encourage others. GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God grant us the grace of a prayerful life, hear our prayers, and release His grace and loving-kindness upon us through Christ Our Lord Amen. Good morning.
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