Proclaim the word. These are the words of an evangelist, one who is committed to the proposition that knowing Jesus is more important than anything else.
Today’s homily is given by Father Scott O’Brien, the student master for St. Dominic Priory in Saint Louis, Missouri.. I was a novice when the news first broke about the spread of HIV/AIDS; that was 35 years ago now. Some things were known about it at the time, like how it might be contracted but little else.
It is called the most complete prayer ever. The Our Father is one we pray often. But how often do with really think about the words we are saying. Do we pray the Our Father thinking only of ourselves? Do we pray for God’s will to be done when we hold back from doing God’s will? Do we seek forgiveness without forgiving? Today we are given the time to really consider the prayer and what we are saying.
Today is the first time we will celebrate the Sunday of the Word of God. Just as we celebrate special Sundays for the Body and Blood of Christ, and the Trinity, Pope Francis thought it good that we focus one Sunday with special emphasis on the Word of God. Do you have a bible in your home? Do you read it? Do you study it? Do you pray with it? Do you share the Word with others? Go. Teach. Baptize. This is our baptismal call. And the Word of God is the story we share.
Intercession. Prayers. Reflection. Acts of Reparation. One Step Further. Pray the Novena 9 days for life today. Pray for an end to the tragic practice of abortion.
God has a plan for you. How often do we hear these words? God has a plan for us. We know it. But do we really let the power, length and breadth of God’s plan sink in? God’s plan for us is eternal, infinite and magnificent. God’s plan takes us beyond who we are today. But do we really reflect on our relationship with God, and are we willing to go wherever God leads us? Each year the Church gives us the season of Advent to listen. Will you?
It is kind of a pessimistic question Jesus asks at the end of the gospel today. “But when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Do we think it should be the case that prayer is easy? In both the first reading and the gospel we learn that it takes perseverance. It is hard. And it is something we cannot do on our own. We need, before all else, God’s grace. It is when we come with an openness to God’s grace that prayer can begin. And we need the support of others too. It is why it is so important to come to Mass. Ask for God’s grace. Ask God to help you to pray. (The apostles did.) Open the bible, go to adoration, practice lectio divina, pray the rosary or sit in silence. And pray. It makes all the difference, because you will be reminded you are never alone.
Today’s gospel from Luke continues lessons on the topic of prayer, which we have been focused upon this week. The emphasis today is about the power of perseverance, which might seem to be undone by the words at the end of the gospel which can be seen as suggesting prayer is really easy. “Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” But the rub is that while the one who asks, receives, they may get something different than what they asked for. The one who seeks might find what they did not expect. The one who knocks may find the door opens to a different place. But prayer is first and foremost about Jesus. And by asking, seeking, knocking, we know we are never alone.