Homily: The Powerful Prayer

Homily: The Powerful Prayer
Daily Homilies

 
 
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Today Jesus gives us a lesson in prayer. The prayer, one we say often, is the Our Father. But do we really think about what we are saying? Do with listen carefully with our hearts to consider what the words we say mean for our lives of faith? The Our Father is a powerful lesson on prayer. First, it indicates that prayer is about a relationship with God. We pray together in a privileged way as God allows us to call him Father. Second, we pray that God’s kingdom will come. We may not realize that when we do so, when we pray for the coming of the kingdom we are praying for the fullness of God’s kingdom to come, namely the Second Coming of Jesus and our Final Judgement. Third, the pray implies a profound trust in God that God will take care of each one of us. And lastly, it reminds us of the deep connection between our forgiveness of others and our forgiveness by God.

Homily given at Christian Brothers College High School, Town and Country, Missouri, on March 14, 2019.

Hypocrite: Homily for Thursday, August 17, 2017

Hypocrite: Homily for Thursday, August 17, 2017

 
 

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To listen to the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

I am a hypocrite.  I say one thing and do another.  I believe in the forgiveness of God, but I do not forgive.  I proclaim a belief in grace, but I ignore grace.  Truth be told I am a sinner.  Today’s gospel focuses on being a hypocrite.  There is a man who has been granted great mercy but cannot show it to others.  Why? How is it that this happened? How did the man wind up in this situation?

It may have been for a reason the man thought was good.  If he could scrape together even a little bit of money, perhaps he could see his image go up in the opinion of the king.  There are times when we get so focused on one goal, we allow it to overtake the way we act.  The man who was forgiven did harm.  He sinned against human dignity.  He failed to appreciate the mercy of the.  And when it comes to God our king, we can do the same.

 

Daily Prayer for Wednesday, July 5, 2017

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.

Our Father: Homily for Thursday, June 22, 2017

Our Father: Homily for Thursday, June 22, 2017
Daily Homilies

 
 

00:00 / 4:34
 

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To hear the entire homily, click here.

Readings for Today

How many times does a person pray the “Our Father” in a day, or in a lifetime? Often, really. But how often does a person really think about the words of the prayer?  There is so much richness in such a simple prayer. First, there is the acknowledgement that the prayer is one of community.  It is the “Our” Father, not the “My” Father.  It reminds us that in all prayer there should be an element of praise and thanksgiving.  There is the dependence upon God for everything.  There is the need to forgive.  There is the need we all have to be forgiven by God, and the connection between the two.

This prayer is a model for all prayer.  The basic outline of this prayer reminds us what it takes to pray.  The simplicity of the prayer invites us to reflection.  We are invited by God to contemplate the meaning of such a simple yet powerful prayer.  Most of all, this prayer brings us into the loving relationship with the Father.  While a short homily cannot exhaust the richness of this prayer, it does call us to think about our relationship with God and the loving embrace to which we are all called.

Homily for Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Readings for Today

Teach us to pray. With this simple request, the disciples recognize the importance of learning about prayer from the subject of our prayer. That is to say when we pray, our eyes and our hearts and our souls are turned toward the person of Jesus.

What led them to seek this request at this moment in their relationship with the Lord Jesus? Perhaps they witnessed in Jesus, in the midst of his ministry, had the type of peace that they desired for themselves. Maybe in seeing his example of prayer, in those moments when he went off to a quiet place, sometimes even in the midst of tremendously successful activity, something in their hearts was awakened as they desired the same type of awareness of the presence of God.

In many ways, the Gospels we’ve heard from the previous days, and the Gospels we will here in the days to come, or all lessons in prayer. It is clear that a healthy prayer life requires many things. While we might find one form of prayer or another more beneficial at a particular time, a most successful prayer life only occurs when we find ourselves engaged in the variety of ways in which God can be made available to us.

Yesterday for example we were reminded about the importance of action and contemplation. Today, we are reminded of the importance of turning our attention’s not only to ourselves, but to those needs that are present in the world. Perhaps the most important element of prayer, the most important lesson that we can learn, is to turn our minds always in prayer, to the very person of Jesus. Even when we are asking for the intercession of Mary or some of the saints, to pray on our behalf, we are seeking in these moments greater awareness of Jesus. We are to remember the important element of prayer is in recognizing how important is our faith life in Jesus, and how wonderful and beautiful is the life of Grace the Jesus gives to us.

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Homily for Thursday, June 19, 2014

Readings for Today

Today we are given a lesson in prayer by the Lord Jesus. How often is it, that we say the Lord’s prayer, the our father, without really giving it much thought?  And yet when we consider the words that we pray, they are powerful indeed.  So what is it that Jesus wishes us to know about prayer?

First, it is not about words primarily.  God knows what we need.  Jesus cautions us not to babble on like the pagans.  In fact, prayer is not simply, or primarily, about telling God anything . God already knows.  What Jesus stresses, is the importance not of speaking, or doing, but being.

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Homily for Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Readings for Today

So much is contained in the praying of the “Our Father.”  In fact, it is the perfect prayer.  It reminds us of our place with God, and focuses our attention on the basic needs we have.  Most of all, especially with the lines after the “Our Father”, the emphasis today is on giving and receiving forgiveness.  “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.

I remember hearing a homily once where it was suggested that the words “just as” be added to the Our Father.  “Forgive us our trespasses, [just]
as we forgive those who trespass against us,” as a reminder that there was a direct correlation between receiving God’s forgiveness and our forgiving others.  It needs to be clear, however, that this correlation is not because God is limited, but by failing to forgive others our hearts become closed.

The task during the Lenten season is to ask God to open our hearts anew.  It is for this reason that we fast.  By focusing on what might keep us from seeing the presence of God, by fasting from it, then we are able to see more clearly what is truly important.  By reflecting upon and making real the words we pray, or the silence we engage, we come more able to hear the voice of God deep within us.  By almsgiving, we seek to remove that selfishness that keeps us from being more like God.

To be sure, one more point is needed to emphasize here.  The “Our Father” also reminds us that being a Christian is about community.  There is no “Jesus and me” in the Christian religion.  It is always “Jesus and us” or “God and us.”  Jesus prayer beings with the “Our Father” and not the “My Father.”  To that end, we need to be reminded that we are in this together, and one concrete sign of that is being able to forgive one another.