Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Jeremiah 31:7-9, Psalm 126:1-2, 2-3, 4-5, 6, Hebrews 5:1-6, &
Why should we pray when God already knows what we want? God indeed knows what we need, so why then did Bartimaeus have to ask Jesus for help in today's Gospel narrative? Anyone listening or reading would undoubtedly have thought that it must be evident that the man wanted Jesus to restore his sight. Jesus asks," What do you want me to do for you?" Bartimaeus answers," Master, I want to see." Our Lord immediately cured the man because his faith had saved him.
Jesus knows everything about us. He knew Judas was going to betray him, He knew about Nathanael under the fig tree, He knew the woman in Samaria had five husbands before her present partner. Yes, Jesus knew about the blind man and did not need to be told of his prayer to have his sight restored. So, why should we pray when God already knows what we want? My answer is that prayer is not about informing God about our needs. Instead, our prayers are for our benefit, and our prayers prepare our hearts for what God wishes to give us.
After his sight is restored, what did Bartimaeus do? He followed Jesus on the Way. In the Gospels, when we learn that someone followed Jesus, they became one of His disciples. Jesus had twelve apostles and many disciples. All these followers and disciples of our Lord listened to His teaching and allowed it to change their lives. Therefore, the healing of Bartimaeus was only the beginning of his journey in following Jesus, becoming a disciple and learning from Him. Bartimaeus did not just pray to have his sight restored and disappear. Afterward, Bartimaeus' way of life revolved around Jesus. So, when someone asks you," why should we pray when God already knows what we want?"
You could answer that praying for what we need is only part of our relationship with God. Our entire lives are to be prayers to God because we become disciples of Jesus and follow Him. If we only pray when we are in crisis, are we acting as true Christians? Prayer is not a magic formula to be recited to bring about desired results. Prayer is also a way of living; it is following Jesus on the Way.
Question of the Day: Will you be prayerful, vigilant, and patient in your prayer life?
Prayer: My Lord and my God, make me holy. With faithful love, may I follow You in all Your ways. Amen.