Those who knew Jesus and saw him in his ministry, they saw the pressure and stress on him. People were constantly looking for and following him. Whether it be for healing and curing of the sick, for exorcism, for guidance and counselling, or if they just wanted to hear him preach. On the other hand, though, they also noticed that Jesus would always find time to pray – up on the mountain or in a deserted place. Also, they realized that it was the source of strength of Jesus. That is why they request, “Teach us how to pray.”
That is why to help us learn how to pray better, the Gospel teaches many things about prayer. Let us reflect only on the first two words of the Lord’s prayer – Our Father. Three things we are reminded of:
- It reminds us that God is a personal God. He is not an absentee landlord, he is not an ATM, he is not a genie. He is a personal God. Hence, he knows what we are going through because he pays attention to details.
- It reminds us that God is a father. A father will do anything and everything for His children. A father is the source of strength, security, and guidance of the family. Such is God to us in our lives.
- It reminds us of a relationship. A relationship that will deepen, needs constant communication. God takes our prayers very seriously and that is why we are told not to babble.
In this Mass, we always hold on to the power of prayer: As St. John Crysostom once said:
“God asks little but He gives much.
Prayer is the place of refuge for every worry, a foundation for cheerfulness, a source of constant happiness, a protection against sadness. Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.”
Let us not hesitate to help those who have died and to offer our prayers for them.