Podcast en Español
Jesus compared a dishonest judge and a nagging widow to the mercy of God when we pray. Obviously the Lord contrasted the difference between the judge and our loving God. So that maybe, just maybe we would stop projecting our way of treating each other with how God treats us.
God is not like the dishonest judge who only listened to the widow because she would not go away—or because she threatened him. God always listens to our prayers, always answers and only wants the best for us. The Lord does not punish us according to our sins. If such were the case, nobody would make it to heaven—nobody! Some folks who are immature in their faith come to all sorts of false conclusions when bad things happen in their life. For example, if they have a car accident they figure that God must be punishing them for some sin. If money runs out, if someone in the family gets sick—the popular thinking is that God is getting even with us—that we deserve punishment. Guilt is more readily accepted than God’s mercy. Remember that guilt is not from God but always from the accuser—always from Satan. Guilt is a wasted emotion—never helps us to grow. Remorse is different—repentance is different. However, when we come before the Lord to pray we have to get past our sins or we will never dare to speak with God. Nobody is worthy—the sooner we make peace with our weaknesses, the sooner we can experience God’s forgiveness.
Ever fall asleep while you’re praying? Ever get distracted during Mass? (Not during my homily of course.) That’s normal. We all get detracted. Some people fall asleep while they are praying the rosary—that’s called “deep meditation—slain in the Spirit.” Maybe that’s what we need—to rest. What better way than to rest in the Lord. We can get all bent out of shape because we doze off during prayer. Didn’t we ever fall asleep in our father’s arms? Didn’t we ever fall asleep sitting next to our mother—especially when we were children? We are all children to God. There is not better place to rest than in the arms of our heavenly Father. We are supposed to try to concentrate on what we are doing. Each Psalm, every Hail Mary, the morning prayers—they all deserve our full attention. But sometimes nature is stronger. We should not worry because God is not like the dishonest judge but like a loving Father.
We are a lot harder on ourselves than God will ever be. Some folks have told others that they are going to hell according to how they are going to vote. Nothing new. At one time the Western Church condemned the Eastern Church and the Eastern Church condemned the Western Church to hell. Good thing that God doesn’t pay attention to the ridiculous statements we make in anger. Indeed the election ahead is going to be difficult. However, no party is without it’s faults. Moral cases can be drawn against both. Therefore discernment is necessary—prayer—guidance from the Holy Spirit. Never is an election about one issue. Our privilege as citizens of this great Country is to vote. Let’s not be so quick to condemn one another to hell because we do not agree. There are much better ways in which we can employ our passion—like getting rid of violence in our neighborhoods, working to feed the homeless, volunteering to care for the refugees. Rather than looking at the problems we have, we can contribute to finding solutions. That’s the way that God answers our prayers—by inspiring us to help one another.
Prayer is not so much as we doing the talking and God doing the listening. Prayer is also listening to what God wants to tell us. The message is the same: God loves us without conditions.