YEAR A: HOMILY FOR THURSDAY OF THE 11TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: HOW AND WHAT TO PRAY
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
HOMILY: (Mt. 6:7-15) Thursday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel Jesus teaches His disciples how and what to pray. It is true that God already knows what we want. But we need to pray in order to express those wants. God gave us freedom and He will not violate it. When we pray we exercise that freedom. Furthermore, God wants us to discern what we ask for. While God would not give us anything against His nature and anything we want, prayer keeps us connected and aware of His presence.
The Lord’s Prayer, as we know it, is a perfect prayer. First because it was taught by Jesus Himself. If there is one who would know how to communicate with the Father best, it is His Son.
Second, the items mentioned in the prayer are basic and complete. Prayer is not merely asking God for what we need. Even in our daily life, it will be unfortunate to only communicate when we need something. We also communicate to praise, repent, greet, and express our joy. When we pray the Lord’s Prayer and mean what it says, we adopt a position of humility. It means submitting ourselves to God’s holy will.
Again, the object of prayer is to establish communication with God. The goal is not merely obtaining material graces but spiritual ones as well. Since God is the source of salvation and the ultimate end of faith, we seek His will and allow ourselves to be guided and inspired by Him. All of these happen in prayer.
Finally, do not pray thinking and treating it as a mere obligation or as we say in Filipino, “mairaos” lang. the act and words themselves have meaning and intentions. They are not magic words or acts which would, “presto!”, make God give what we asked for. We pray with full concentration and sincerity. We mean what we say and say what we mean. It is not about the number of words. It is about what words could not capture, the spirit. Next time we kneel before the Lord and pray, be honest and free to express your heart’s desires.