READINGS for 2008-11-15

Didache | Companion | Sabbath



NO mYstIquE OR mIstAKE
Then he told them a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. – Luke 18:1
I pray for anything and everything. I pray for seemingly trivial things like a parking slot in a crowded mall, protection for my daily travel, proper nourishment at every meal and healing for the sick. There is no mystique or mistake about prayer. All prayers are answered sooner or later. The practice of praying draws us closer to a powerful being because praying is simply communicating. Turning to an all-mighty God takes away my feeling of helplessness and anxieties.
In our team that sells real estate, I emphasize the need for group constancy in our prayers because of the current difficulties that the industry is in. So we grab every opportunity to lift up our intentions. At every business meeting, prayer is always first on our agenda. At prayer rallies, we join the community in expressing our trust and faith in God. We even have prayer petition notebooks where we write down names of our clients that we are claiming would buy our properties. Storming the heavens as a team disarms God more effectively. Unrelenting prayer is our team’s key to success.Donna España
We have 24 hours in a day. How much time do you devote to prayer?
Lord, in prayer I draw close to you. Warm my heart with Your love.


The twenty-fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew is divided into three parables. The first is the Parable of the 10 Virgins. The second is the Parable of the Talents. And the third is the Parable of the Last Judgment. Evidently, thischapter reminds us of three things: first, that the Lord Jesus will come again at the end of time; second, that we shall give an accounting of our lives to the Lord when He comes again on the Last Day; and third, that the Lord will judge us according to our deeds.
But what seems to be striking about these three parables is that those who are condemned are not explicitly described as wicked, immoral, sinful people. The five virgins in the first parable are simply foolish. The third servant in the parable today, who goes off after being entrusted with one talent by his master and digs a hole on the ground where he buried the talent, is simply lazy and afraid of his master. And in the Parable of the Last Judgment, it is very clear that the focus is not on the bad deeds committed but on the good deeds omitted.
We may ask of today’s parable, “What immoral thing did the third servant do to deserve the punishment he got from his master? The answer is clear: nothing. No, burying his talent under the ground for safekeeping is not sinful. The problem is that he also did nothing good. For fear of his master, the servant failed to do the good he was supposed to do: invest the talent entrusted to him. The message relative to the final judgment is clear: we shall be judged not only on the merits of what we do but also on the basis of what we fail or refuse to do.
There are two kinds of sin — the sin of commission, where we actually do something evil, and the other is the sin of omission, where we omit doing the good we’re supposed to do. Salvation is not merely a matter of avoiding evil; it is also very much a matter of doing good.
Let us avoid doing evil. But let us not forget doing good. If we fear committing sin, should we not also be equally, if not more, afraid of omitting good? Fr. Bobby Titco
Reflection Question:
We shall be judged not only on the merits of what we do but also on the basis of what we fail or refuse to do.
Lord, grant me the joy of doing the good that I am supposed to do. Instill upon me the horror of doing what I am not supposed to do. And show me the difference between the two. Amen.
St. Gertude, virgin, pray for us.


Children use different antics to get what they want. Some suddenly stage a spontaneous sing and dance concert. Others become unusually obedient to their elders. Still others pamper their elders with tight hugs and warm kisses, saying, “I love you.” Not that they do not mean what they say and do, but children seem to be more expressive of their love for their elders when they need something from them, especially when the parent seem to be playing “hard to get.”
God does not play “hard-to-get” when we need something from Him. He is an ever-solicitous father to us. He knows what we need even before we ask it from Him, and He is also ever willing to give it to us, if it will be for our good.
Prayer does not change God. Rather, prayer changes us. Prayer makes us grow into the knowledge that we are God’s children, that there is nothing we should be embarrassed to confide to Him, that there is nothing we cannot request from Him, save anything evil.
Prayer opens our minds to the idea of a Father-  God.Prayer makes us grow into the attitude of God’s children. God wants us to ask from Him what we need because He wants us to develop a filial attitude toward Him. Even our parents instinctively know what we need even before we ask; but they, at times, wait for us to speak to them about it. In that way, we learn what it means to be their children.
When we approach God during difficult times and present our needs to Him, we affirm our fundamental choice: God. We choose God; and the more we pray – for whatever reason we have – the more we affirm that fundamental choice.
In today’s parable, it is the unjust judge that was changed by the persistence of the widow. In real life, it is we, not God, who are changed by our fervent prayer.
As we grow more mature in the faith, we realize that we do not  need to play our tricks or antics on God to get what we want from Him. We simply hug Him tightly and kiss Him tenderly… And that in itself is a beautiful prayer. Fr. Bobby Titco
Reflection Question:
Prayer changes us, not God.
Abba, Father, give me a heart like that of Jesus. May I love You with the heart of Jesus and may I love Jesus with Your heart. I love You, Dad! Amen.
St. Malo, Welsh bishop and missionary, pray for us.

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