Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate

Weekly Reflections

Weekly Reflection

Gospel Reflection for 30th June

Lord, teach us to pray

We all know that because of our very busy lives, there are so many demand being made on our time. I often hear people say things like, ‘there aren’t enough hours in the day or days in the week!’ When this happens to us, we can often forget about what is truly important to us in our daily lives. I believe that one of those things is prayer. How often have you said, I will pray when I am not so busy or when I have time? But, let’s be honest, that time never really comes!

In the gospel this Sunday Jesus is praying. His friends say to him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray as John taught his disciple to pray.’ But Jesus can’t do this; he can only teach them to pray as he himself prays. And so, he teaches them the prayer we now call the ‘Our Father.’ This is probably the very first prayer we were taught as children. We say it so regularly and quickly that we don’t realise how powerful and radical it really is. The prayer that Jesus offers and teaches are not just words or a formula. Through this ancient prayer, Jesus shares with us the personal and intimate relationship that he enjoys with God, whom he calls ‘Abba,’ which simply means ‘Dad.’ Through this prayer we move closer to God and God comes nearer to us. The ‘Our Father’ is a prayer that helps us to create and sustain an intimate and personal relationship with God. Through this prayer, Jesus teaches us how to pray as he prays and shares with us the relationship he has with God.

I know from experience that it is so easy to stop praying. Too often we say, God’s not listening to me or my prayers are not being answered. Hard as it sounds, prayer is not about me getting what I want from God or even changing God. It’s the other way around! Prayer is about us letting God change and mould us over the course of our whole life. However, this gospel reminds us that this take patience and perseverance. Every time we spend even a few minutes in prayer we are sowing seeds that will bear fruit in God’s time, not ours! Like anything we do, prayer take practise. The more we pray, the more fruitful our lives will be.

The danger and temptation is that when we don’t see or experience any ‘results’ from our prayers or praying, we just give up and give in. When this happens, let us not lose heart. Can we simply turn to Jesus and say to him, Lord, teach me to pray.

St. Paul encourages us with these words; ‘Pray at all times, asking for what you need, praying in the Spirit one every occasion.’ (Ephesians 6.18.)

Br Michael Moore OMI

Gospel Luke 9 51-62 ©
Jesus sets out for Jerusalem
As the time drew near for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely took the road for Jerusalem and sent messengers ahead of him. These set out, and they went into a Samaritan village to make preparations for him, but the people would not receive him because he was making for Jerusalem. Seeing this, the disciples James and John said, ‘Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven to burn them up?’ But he turned and rebuked them, and they went off to another village.
As they travelled along they met a man on the road who said to him, ‘I will follow you wherever you go.’ Jesus answered, ‘Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.’
Another to whom he said, ‘Follow me’, replied, ‘Let me go and bury my father first.’ But he answered, ‘Leave the dead to bury their dead; your duty is to go and spread the news of the kingdom of God.’
Another said, ‘I will follow you, sir, but first let me go and say goodbye to my people at home.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Once the hand is laid on the plough, no one who looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’

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