Sunday, July 25, 2010

Be Bold With Your Prayer

Homily from the 17th Week in Ordinary Time - Year C

In the weeks and months before I received my assignment to St. Vincent's - before I found out where I'd be going - I prayed to God about my assignment and told Him what I wanted.  I said, "God, I tend to do well when I keep myself busy.  I don't want to be bored.  So if You'd like to send me to a parish that's a little bit bigger, a little bit busier, that would be O.K. with me."

Kind of a bold request on my part.  And I was humbled by God's response.

Our readings today tell us to be bold with our prayers and to be humble with God's response.

Look at Abraham in our first reading.  He's actually bargaining with God.  "Lord, if I find 50 innocent people in Sodom, will you spare the city?  How about 50?  Do I hear 40... 30... 10?"  Abraham is awfully bold isn't he?

In the Gospel, Jesus tells us to knock on the door of prayer again and again, no matter what the hour, even in the middle of the night.  But not because God is like the guy in the Gospel who is asleep and doesn't want to be bothered and will finally answer your prayers just to shut you up.

God is not a sleeping neighbor.  He is our Father.  And we are never a bother to Him.  We are HIs children.

Your Father gives you permission to be bold in your prayers.  Ask... seek... knock.  Be bold in your prayers.  Tell Him you want that job.  Tell Him you want your family to be healed. 

Jesus tells us to be bold and persistent in our prayers not because praying louder will get our prayers answered quicker.  He tells us to be bold and persistent because such persistence reminds us of our total dependence on God.

So, be humble with His response.

There is no such thing as an unanswered prayer.  The answer we're given may not always be the answer we wanted or expected.  But we have to trust that God always has our best interests in mind. 

And if you find it difficult to be humble, to be patient, to be understanding with God's response, know that you have a friend... Jesus.

Jesus prayed boldly to the Father.  When He was in agony in the garden he prayed, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me."  Christ Himself asked the Father to have his pain and suffering taken away. 

But Jesus was also humble.  "Not my will Father, but yours be done" he said.

God heard His Son's prayer... and answered.  He said, (and I'm paraphrasing here) "Son, I need You to do this.  I need You to suffer in this way... because my other sons and daughters are suffering too.  And I want to show them that they are not alone.  I want to show them that I hear them and I do answer their prayers.  They will know this, by knowing that You, my Son, are with them... You will suffer with them... You will suffer for them.  And You will show them that I hear Your prayers when I raise You up in three days... and when I raise them up on the last day."

My friends, be bold with your prayers... ask God for your daily bread.

Be humble with God's response... ask that His will be done.


  1. Thank you so much for posting your homilies! Most of the time, it's hard to remember every good point made in a homily, so this makes it really nice. It's also a really cool reminder of past homilies. So thank you!

  2. Thanks for doing this, Father's a great way to share your gifts with "the other side of the Diocese :)" God bless you as you begin your awesome priestly vocation!

  3. wow! beautiful...just what I need to hear, Father; thank you.