Catholic homily for Friday of the 8th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle I
Theme: HAVE FAITH IN GOD..….” Whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it”
By: Fr. Agustí BOADAS Llavat OFM
Homily for Friday May 28 2021
Today, fruit and prayer are the key words to this Gospel. The Lord notices a fig tree and finds nothing but leaves: and He reacts by cursing it. According to St. Isidore of Seville, “fig” and “fruit” have the same root. Early next morning the Apostles, surprised, tell him: «Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered» (Mk 11:21). In reply, Jesus Christ speaks to them of faith and prayer: «Have faith in God» (Mk 11:22).
There are people that almost never pray and, when they do it, it is with the hope God will solve problems they do not know how to handle themselves. And they justify it with the words from Jesus we have just heard: «Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours» (Mk 11:24). They are right, and it is quite human, understandable and legitimate that, in front of a problem too difficult for us, we trust in God, in a much higher force.
But we must also add that prayers are “useless” («Your Father knows what you need before you ask him»: Mt 6:8), as long as they do not have a practical and direct utility, as —for instance— switch on a light. We do not receive anything for our prayer, because what we receive from God is grace upon grace.
Should we, therefore, not pray…? Of course, we should: now that we know that by prayer we obtain the grace, our prayer has become more worthy and valuable: because it is “useless” and it is “costless”. Furthermore, there are three benefits we do receive from the petition prayer: interior peace (to find our friend Jesus and to trust God is relaxing); to mull over a problem, rationalize it, and knowing how to raise it, is to solve half of it; and, in the third place, praying helps us to discern between what is good and what, maybe out of some personal whim, are the actual intentions of our prayers. Then, later on, we shall understand with the eyes of the faith what Jesus says: «Whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son» (Jn 14:13).
Fr. Agustí BOADAS Llavat OFM