Daily Mass Reflections - 10/11
“And I tell you, ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be open to you.” ~ Luke 11:9
After being instructed by our Lord as to how to pray in yesterday’s Gospel (Luke 11:1-4), Jesus today (Luke 11:5-13) teaches us the value and importance of persistent prayer and the bountiful oftentimes miraculous fruits of those prayers. He does this through the telling of a very compelling and logical parable.
“Suppose one of you has a friend to whom he goes at midnight and says ‘Friend, loan me three loaves of bread, for a friend of mine has arrived at my house from a journey and I have nothing to offer him,’ and he says in reply from within, ‘Do not bother me, the door has already been locked and my children and I are already in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.’ I tell you, if he does not get up to give him the loaves because of their friendship, he will get up to give him whatever he needs because of his persistence.”
After another interesting analogy involving, among other things, scorpions, eggs and snakes ~ if that little teaser doesn’t get you to read this Gospel, I’m not sure what will ~ Jesus goes on to make another great point in the waning words of this passage when he says “If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in Heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”
So not only are we reminded of our need to be steadfast in our prayer lives, we’re also reminded of the immeasurable generosity of our Lord, not to mention that which we should pray for above and beyond all else, the Gifts of the Holy Spirit.
In one of her now famous diary entries, Saint Faustina once said of God’s generosity “I understand, Oh Lord that your mercy and kindness is beyond all imagining, unfathomable and inexhaustible, just as God himself is unfathomable. Were I to use the strongest words for expressing this mercy of God, they are nothing in comparison with what it is in reality.”
It is in living our lives in accordance with this truth, taught to us by a great Saint who in her own right understood the power of prayer, that we too can unleash the vast potential of prayer in our lives and the lives of those we encounter, friend or enemy (yes we are called to pray for our enemies and should do so every day), stranger or family member, priest or pagan.
Many years ago, I encountered a friend outside of church one morning after Mass. We chatted for a while and he finally told me that he was on his way back into the Adoration Chapel to pray for an end to abortion. Not a decrease in abortions mind you, an end. I said to him “Al, you know you’re facing an uphill battle with that prayer intention given the state of the world these days.” He simply replied “Hey, when you pray, pray big.”
Through a generous and loving God who seeks to promptly answer all of our prayers, a God who also loves to surprise us from time to time, each and every one of us are equipped, courtesy of the gift of the Holy Spirit, to “pray big” and subsequently watch amazing things happen.