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Homily for Wednesday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Faustina Kowalska, 05 Oct 2022, Lk 11:1-4

Perhaps we can reflect today on the request made by the disciples to Jesus in our Gospel today: “Lord, teach us to pray as John taught his disciples to pray.” (Lk 11:1ff) I wonder what the prophet John the Baptist taught his disciples about prayer. Let me guess. He was a prophet; he spoke on God’s behalf. How could he even dare to speak on God’s behalf, or serve as God’s messenger if he did not, first of all, try to find out what God wanted him to say?

There were also a lot of false prophets in ancient Israel. And their messages were challenged by the genuine prophets of God. I am reminded of that funny story in 1 Kings 22 about King Ahab of Israel who did not want to consult the prophet Micaiah because he never said anything good about him. He preferred to consult his paid prophets whom Micaiah exposed as false prophets possessed by lying spirits. There is also the story in the 1st book of Kings 18, about Elijah challenging the prophets of Baal whose prayers had no effect at all, to call their God louder perchance he might be taking a siesta.

All the prophets had to pray in order to be able to prophesy. Jesus himself was mentored by JB in the desert. And so he himself went into the wilderness for forty days after he was baptized by John.

Among all the Gospels, it is Luke who often describes the PRAYING JESUS. He says Jesus was at prayer when he was baptized, when he was transfigured, when he selected his apostles, when he taught the Lord’s Prayer, when he asked his disciples who he was for them, and of course when he agonized in the garden of Gethsemane.

The disciples must have been observing Jesus whenever he went into prayer and what happened to him after prayer. They knew somehow that prayer was the source of his power and authority. It was at prayer that his divinity was manifested amidst his humanity; we call it transfiguration. Prayer beautifies, empowers, pacifies.

One of our common problems about prayer is that we talk a bit too much to God when we pray. And most of our petitions at the Prayer of the Faithful are answered by “LORD HEAR OUR PRAYER.”

Yes, God listens to us when we speak; but do we listen to God when it is his turn to speak to us? Remember the Psalm that says, TODAY IF YOU HEAR THE VOICE OF THE LORD, HARDEN NOT YOUR HEARTS. Remember what Samuel had to learn from the time he was a young boy and God was trying to communicate with him? SPEAK LORD, YOUR SERVANT IS LISTENTING.

Do we listen with the heart, mind and soul? It’s ok to talk to God. But please take time also to let God talk to you. Take time to say, “Lord, what would you wish to tell me? What are you asking of me? What are you telling me through these things that are happening in my life?” And then just be still and let God do the talking.

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