This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Wednesday of the Twenty-Seventh Week In Ordinary Time
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Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray…” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your Kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.”
Be good for goodness sake. An atheist once responded to me by saying the following: “History has shown people do terrible things for their god. Why not advocate doing good for the sake of doing good?” This individual must have read only the first few chapters in his history book! He’s forgotten how history has shown people doing terrible things for themselves, for their own beliefs and interests, for their own ideologies, and for no god.
But is it possible to do good for the sake of doing good? Putting aside the question ‘What is good?,’ this person is completely ignoring the elephant in the room: human nature.
We don’t do things for no reason, and we almost never do anything that doesn’t benefit us directly or indirectly. We don’t breathe for the sake of breathing. We don’t live for the sake of living. We breathe for the sake of living. We live for the sake of adventure, discovery, purpose and meaning.
Why pray? Do you pray for the sake of praying? Nobody does. But if you do, well, that won’t last long.
So why pray? To love. Yes. It’s not easy to love, at least the Christian way.
Prayer is the generator of love, and love is what makes life worth living. It takes faith to pray. So, it is important to increase one’s faith. We talked about how to do it in a previous meditation.
Why pray? To not shirk from our duty and responsibility the way Jonah did. He ran. He hid. He made excuses. Why? Because Jonah did not pray (cf. Jon. 4:1-11).
With the exception of Mary, fear seized every great prophet: Moses feared because he could not speak; Jeremiah, because he was too young; Abraham, because he was too old. So there you have it: too young, too old, not the right time, not the right moment. It’s never a good time for the Lord!
But unlike Jonah, these men and women prayed.
And the rest is salvation history. (38)