Tuesday of 1st Week of Lent A

Praying—One of the Pillars of Lent—What is a Prayer?

Joke: One day, little Johnny asked his mom for a new bike. His mom said, “At Christmas you send a letter to Santa to ask for what you want, don’t you?” “Yes,” replied Johnny, “but it isn’t Christmas now.” His mother said, “Then you can send a letter to Jesus and ask him.” Johnny went to his room and sat down with a pen and paper and started his letter: “Dear Jesus, I’ve been a good boy sometimes, and I would like to have a new bike. Your friend, Johnny.” He thought about this and decided to start over: “Dear Jesus, sometimes I think about being a good boy, and I would like to have a new bike. Your friend, Johnny.” He thought some more and tried again: “Dear Jesus, someday I might be a good boy, and I would like a new bike. Your friend, Johnny.” Johnny didn’t like that letter neither. Finally, he got a small statue of Mary from the front yard and started his letter again saying: “Dear Jesus, if you ever hope to see your mom again, send me a new bike! Your friend, Johnny.”

Prayer, what is a prayer? Jesus taught his disciples reported in today’s Gospel saying, “In praying, do not babble like the pagans, who think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” This is how you prayer, Jesus said, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. ‘If you forgive men their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive men, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.’”

Prayer, first and foremost, has to be a thanksgiving for our life and all the blessings that we have received freely from the Lord. It is then to bend his ears down to listen to our needs and our concerns and help us to accept his will and not our own will. Finally, to learn to forgive one another as the heavenly Father forgives us our sins. So in our prayers, have we remembered to thank the Lord for all the blessings that we have been receiving? Before we address our needs and our concerns, have we remembered to forgive one another, to let go what is hatred, anger, and resentment towards others and loved one(s)? The decision is yours.

 

Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen


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