29th Sunday in Ordinary: Persistent Prayer

10-09-2022Weekly ReflectionFr. Bing Colasito

Lk 18:1-8

Persistent prayer is necessary. Persistence does not necessarily mean long, unending prayer but heartfelt and confident prayer. In other words, it is not so much the quantity but the quality of our prayers that attract the attention of God, His mercy, and compassion. It is wrong to think that we can force God to take action in our favor because of our prayers. Remember that God is in control, that is, only He calls the shot. We can only
pray: Jesus, we trust in You!

In the Gospel, Jesus tells His disciples to pray without ceasing and becoming weary. Sometimes, when we pray, we feel as if no one is listening, discouraging many not to pray anymore. Then, we slowly entertain the thought or subscribe to the belief about the futility of praying. Praying is not an exercise of futility but living faith. For sure, our God is much better than the wicked judge in the Gospel - because He hears and feels the pains and sorrow of His people.

We cannot go wrong when praying, as long as our persistent prayer springs from faith and confidence in God, who always listens to our prayer. He answers those who call upon Him day and night. When we pray, we nourish our relationship with God. His decision to relate with us allows Him to be affected by our condition. God wants to make our situations better. But we can make the world better by doing our part, caring for others, and working for the common good. The Responsorial Psalm echoes this: Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Through humble prayer, diligent preparation, and faithful service - we succeed in our vocation or sacred calling.

For me, some of the best prayers are the shortest ones. These prayers spring from the soul, said in tears, in silence, and remain in the heart. Prayer is not the number of words but the faith and trust we put in them. A good prayer is a heart speaking to another heart; of God. In prayer, we build our relationship with God.
Hurricane IAN hit Florida and South Carolina and brought a lot of damage. At this time when there is a lot of suffering, and destruction of life and property, were we praying and loving concretely? Much has changed through the years: typhoons and hurricanes are stronger and more destructive. Is God trying to tell us something? In times like these, we remember God’s power, faithfulness, and ability to bring good out of bad things and situa-tions. In our helplessness and weakness, trust and believe. We have the experience of the pandemic to look
back. Be still and know that I am God. (Ps. 46:10)

As I write this reflection, I remember that tomorrow is the Memorial of St. Faustina Kowalska of the Divine Mercy. I find the prayer we learned through her - one of the shortest and best prayers we can pray anytime. Jesus, we trust in You! Pope Francis once said: In the roughest moment, remember: God is our Father; God does not abandon His children. Life is a journey with God. Trust Him more and less ourselves. In this journey, we have received more than we have achieved. God loves us not so much because of who we are but despite who we are. Let us all take the path of humility. Be grateful and trust in God’s forgiveness, mercy,
and love.

For every painful experience, the Lord is your healing touch; for every disappointment, the Lord is your certain hope; for every turbulent storm, the Lord is your calming peace. Remember, wherever and whenever, the Lord is with you always!