It is 9th October 2019. We celebrate the memorials of Saints Denis and John Leonardi, martyrs. The readings are from Jonah 4:1-11; and the Gospel from Luke 11:1-4. Our prayer needs to bridge the gap between principles and practical in line with the one’s belief and actions. It is the prayer that offers the inner strength to accept the mind of God. We cannot preach the message of conversion when we have not prayed and listened to God. In the first reading, the prophet Jonah was entrusted with the missionary activity by God. He accomplished it but God relented and did not want to do what God told Jonah to preach. The blanket of love and mercy of God is so stretched that God wants to cover the guilt and shame of people who repent and obey Him. Prayer teaches us a lesson about God in every moment we humble ourselves in prayer. Jonah learnt it through prayer. Mercy and forgiveness of God is not only for the biblical Israel but also those who did not acknowledge God. The responsorial Psalm praises, “You, O Lord, have mercy and compassion.” (Ps.85:15). There is an unquenchable thirst to communicate with God in every one of us. In the Gospel, Jesus offers the experience of God in prayer by teaching them to call God as Father, pleading for one’s forgiveness and asking God to give the strength to forgive the others and to be protected from the temptation of leaving God and succumbing to the lust of the world. We are privileged to call God as Father because of Jesus. The prayer ‘our father’ summarises the entire Gospel as a compendium, says Tertullian. “Lord, teach us how to pray.” (Lk.11:1). Lord, teach us to accept your plan for us and the healing and forgiving plans for others. Help us not to be irritated and upset when you let them go free and unharmed; help us to not to retaliate to your kindness and mercy you show to those we have a difficulty in understanding and accepting the way they live. Prayer alone gives us the courage to accept the others mercifully. Jesus opened a new platform of relating and respecting the other as siblings just because we are able to call God as Father. This prayer is for the entire humanity not merely for the believers only. To be the member of the Kingdom of God, one needs to relate with the other in faith and prayer. Prayer is a personal experience and encounter with God through the Holy Spirit. The model prayer offers us not only to communicate with God but to reach out to one another as brothers and sisters. The process of reconciliation happens to those souls that allows the forgiveness of God to be experienced. As we all aspire to be the missionary disciples, we need to work with the pilgrim Church, a universal sacrament of salvation to participate and to gather all people to acknowledge the fatherhood of God and respecting and relating with the others beyond of wishes and fanciful thinking. May you have a good day. May God bless you.

Leave a Comment