Kneeling is not a common gesture in our society. In fact, with the exception of a man proposing to a woman, I cannot think of another time when we are on our knees. Except of course, at Mass. We kneel during the Eucharistic prayer, and again at the Lamb of God, and usually after receiving communion.
“I kneel before the Father.” Why would we kneel? Of course the obvious answer is that the person before whom we kneel is superior to us. God the Father is obvious worthy of our kneeling, since it goes without saying that God is worthy while we are not.
In this context, we learn some things about prayer from Paul. His action seems more deliberate than a quick recollection of an intention. It seems Paul here is suggesting he has deliberately chosen to pray. By kneeling before the Father, Paul acknowledges in a very deliberate way that God is God and he is not.
The fact we so seldom kneel should help us to realize that when we do, it is for very significant reasons. It is not the case that it is a casual action, or something that is done so often that it is taken for granted. No, since it is rare, and most often an action when we worship God, it serves as a stark reminder that we are always in need of God’s love and grace.
There are those in our society today who seem to have come to the point where it is the human being, and the work of human hands that is the most important thing. It is all about what we can do. And, if there are evil actions, it seems there is a temptation to blame religion for the problems. Think of how often you have heard that religion has started so many wars. Really?
When we acknowledge God’s greatness by kneeling before the Father, we can then do so much more than we can when we rely on the work of our own hands without God. Some might see faith as an escape, but for us who have received God’s grace we recognize it is the pathway where we are able to become our most complete and full selves.
Not only are we invited to this lifegiving relationship, Jesus modeled such a relationship when he was among us on earth. Jesus submitted to the will of the Father when he emptied himself to take on our humanity.
“Now to him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine, by the power at work within us, to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus. Amen.” Jesus gives us this example because it is clear that we will not, of our own accord, realize all we can accomplish or imagine. So, kneel before the Father and open yourself to all that God can do.
to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.