God is Not a Genie

There is a story of two men who were trapped on a deserted island for a long time. One day, as they were walking along the shore, they saw a bottle floating. They got the bottle, opened it, and out came a genie. The genie thanked his two masters for setting him free and told them that each gets a wish. 

The first man made his wish: a beautiful car, lots of money, and a penthouse apartment in New York City. Wish granted and the man disappeared to his new apartment. The second man then made his wish: He said he misses his friend and asked if he could have him back on the Island. Wish granted.

My dear friends, the Gospel reminds us never to lose hope in prayer, but many of us have this notion that God is like a genie. “Your wish is my command.” Yet, you can imagine the trouble and headaches if indeed God, like a genie, granted all the things everyone asks for?

The Gospel reminds us of three things about prayer:

  1. God wrote the book, we only know the page. In other words, if God seems not to answer the prayers it is only because he knows what we are asking for is not the best. Even worse, it can even hurt us. God will always give the best.
  2. God is never a second late. As human beings, we always want it “As Soon As Possible.” But one of the greatest sources of wisdom is the words from the Book of Ecclesiastes, “ There is an appointed time for everything and time for every affair under heaven.” Hence we should always be hopeful as God will never abandon us.
  3. No relationship with Trust has not been Tested. “Why has God not been answering my prayers? Why this difficulty that I do not deserve? Why is life not fair?  Persevere in prayer. Focus on God, he has a plan. Otherwise, fear, hopelessness, anxiety, worry, and depression will enter our minds.

In every Mass, we realize that God has put us in this world because there is a purpose. That is why we need guidance along the way and that is why we go to God in prayer.  And yes, that means going to him every moment of our lives. Pray unceasingly.

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