Sunday’s readings are so incredibly reassuring. Couldn’t we all use some of that in the unjust world we live in today? In the first reading, I love the imagery of the prayer of the poor one PIERCING the clouds. It reminds me of lighting a candle at church – how the heat rises up above the flame toward heaven. For me those stinking electric flameless candles in some churches just don’t satisfy – you know?
Anyway, we are assured that for those who serve God, our prayers are always heard, and that “God does not delay.” You might be thinking, what’s up with that? I ask God for things all of the time, and He surely seems to take His time in answering. We must remember that God can see all – past, present and future. He knows what is best for our eternal life – when to give, when to withhold and when to say, “Wait awhile.” Do we really trust that the One who made us tends to our deepest needs?
I love Paul’s proclamation in the second reading –
I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith. From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me... Won't that be great when we can all say that one day? What do we have to do in order to be able to proclaim that at the end of our lives? Since we truly do not know if we will even be here tomorrow, we should get started right away! (I can't figure out why my font has changed, so I'm just going to go with it.) When I first read the gospel with my students on Friday, we all chuckled at the first man praying to God, chock full of pride. We couldn't imagine anyone speaking to God in that way. It seemed ludicrous, however, upon further examination, we could all admit that we've been a bit prideful in one way or another. Instead of looking down at others who may not be as far along on their own personal spiritual paths, why not show them love and pray for them? Offer little sacrifices and pray for conversion of souls - including our own! Humility is what the second man in the gospel parable teaches. Humility is the key to holiness and the key to God's heart. We have only to look at the life and ministry of Jesus to see how to live humbly, serving Our God and others. May God grant us all the grace to grow in this essential virtue!