REFLECTION – 1st / 2nd OCTOBER, 2022
One of the lovely features of our church is the presence of people who call at all times of the day to spend time in prayer, sitting quietly, lighting candles, bringing to God their cares and worries. Our church has a lovely spirit of prayer in its walls and seats, the blessing of previous generations, those faithful people of God who hallowed this sacred space, this holy ground we stand on.
“Prayer” is, as St. Padre Pio said, “the key which opens the door to God’s heart.” In our prayer we simply bring to God what is in our hearts: gratitude, grief, pleading, sorrow, pleas for healing, inner pain, peace, family difficulties. Prayer is the thread which connects us to God and keeps us in friendship with him..
In our First Reading we encounter the prophet Habbakuk. He is screaming against God asking how long will he ignore the sufferings of his people. He accuses God of simply looking on, not concerned, as we often feel ourselves. The silence of God is too much. But because the prophet believes in God, he trusts that God will hear his prayer. He is proved right. God answers. In the gospel the disciples ask Jesus to increase their faith. Jesus responds by illustrating the power of faith as small as a mustard seed. That tiny faith is strong enough to uproot a mulberry tree and throw it into the sea. Jesus himself displayed a deep faith in God at all times. That trusting enabled Jesus to “stay on the journey” and do great things for God’s people. The point of the gospel is that a faith which is rooted in God is capable of doing great things, beyond our imagining.
We believe in a God who gives us not a spirit of fear or timidity but a spirit of boldness and trusting, sufficient for us to never give up knocking on the door of God’s heart.
Let us join the disciple asking Jesus to “increase our faith”, to “give us a spirit of prayer”, to “be with us always”. So much of our culture today is hostile to expressions of prayer and Christianity – but we who are of God, who declare our faith in Jesus must continually pray for that courage to believe that God is present, that HE is real. Our prayer for ourselves and for others ultimately brings inner peace, even in our darkness, struggles and sicknesses.
“God can handle your doubt, grief, fear, confusions and questionings. You can bring everything to him in prayer”. (Rick warren).
“Do not let your hearts be troubled, trust in God still and trust in me.” (Jesus in St. John’s Gospel).
May God bless all of you this coming week. Fr. Tony