Wednesday of the Twenty-Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial Feasts: Saint Bruno of Cologne—(c.1033-+1101) Founder of the Carthusian Order, Patron Saint of those Possessed, Germany, Calabria; Blessed Marie Rose Durocher—Virgin (1811-+1849) Foundress of Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary
Jonah 4:1-11, Psalm 86:3-4, 5-6, 9--10, & Luke 11:1-4
Above shows a 15th century French miniature of Jesus teaching the 'Our Father'
I do not know about you, but I rather like Jonah. I am a 'Jonah' kind of person; all be it, I have never spent any time in the belly of a gigantic fish. I suspect we are all a little like Jonah, wanting people to get their "just deserts" just like Jonah wanted for the Ninevites, a people whom I believe invented that expensive hand cream they sell in the better cosmetic stores. Fortunately for Jonah and us, God is much more forgiving than we are.
The Gospel narrative of Saint Luke allows us to stop and consider the power of praying the prayer that Jesus Himself teaches us, the 'Our Father'. There are elements of His model in Luke's version of this prayer. Jesus, however, adds several other elements which deepen and enrich the prayer—Our need for us to ask for forgiveness and our obligation to forgive others.
In the 'Our Father', we remember that prayer should link us to community and that we cannot entirely separate our relationship with God from our relationships with other people. This prayer is grounded in our ordinary daily needs—Our need to earn a living and have a good relationship with others. It is a prayer that knows God is part of these essential aspects of our lives. His model of prayer encourages us to talk to God about what is going on in each of our lives daily. Because His disciples asked Him, "Lord, teach us how to pray just as John taught his disciples." Our Lord answers their request with what I call "the prayer of all prayers."
I wonder, "What was Jesus thinking and feeling?" I imagine He was delighted to know that His followers were eager to acknowledge God, the one who is the sacred source of all life and yet relates to us as a loving parent or friend. He may have been surprised by the depth of the hunger and thirst. I suspect Jesus was eager to offer them words to help them become more open to God's presence and to begin a deeper relationship with Abba, our Father. I know I would—How about you?
Question of the Day: Will you teach others, especially the young ones in your life, the Our Father and its divine purpose?
Prayer: Lord, deepen in us a desire to pray. Please calm our fears and anxieties, and then teach us to pray, so we can come to know you as you are and let go of expectations of who we think you ought to be. Amen.