Fr. Mike’s Homily for Wednesday of the 27th week in Ordinary Time Cycle I










Fr. Mike’s Homily for Wednesday of the 27th week in Ordinary Time Cycle I

Theme: The Lord’s prayer

By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

 

Homily for Wednesday October 6 2021

Lk 11:1-4

Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.”

Jesus is the perfect model of how to pray. Every day, despite His very busy schedule, He makes sure he has quality time to be alone and pray to the heavenly Father. This is observed by the disciples. So, one day, they requested: “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”

Our Gospel today is St. Luke’s version of the Lord’s Prayer. This is shorter than that of St. Matthew. It is popularly called the ‘Our Father’, rightly so because it is addressed to the heavenly Father.

We are all familiar with this prayer since it has been taught to us since childhood. It is so simple that even children can memorize and recite it by heart. And this is precisely the point of this prayer: it is a prayer of children, the childlike, those of humble and simple hearts. That is why it begins with the words, “Our Father.”

We must have already read and heard a lot of explanations about the Our Father. But today let us just reflect on the aspect of childlike prayer. The disciples asked: “Lord, teach us to pray.” This is rather surprising because being Jews they must have already been taught so many prayers since childhood.

In answer to their request, Jesus taught them the “Our Father” – a prayer that is short but complete, simple but profound. This is a prayer for the childlike persons who actually do not need to recite long and complex prayers just to talk to the Father.

The original word used by Jesus is ‘Abba’. God is our loving Father, and so when we pray, we address Him as ‘Abba’, the equivalent for Daddy or Papa. We talk to God as little children talk to their father.

And what does a little child say to his parents? He cannot deliver an eloquent speech or an exquisite oration. He may not even pronounce the words correctly, nor clearly verbalize his ideas. But a simple word, even an undecipherable combination of syllables, can already be pleasing to the parents. This is because these are uttered with pure love, trust and tenderness from the heart of the innocent and affectionate child.

That is why it is preposterous for some people to say that they do not know how to pray. It is just like saying they do not know how to talk to their father or mother. In fact, nobody taught us when we were small how to talk to our Dad or Mom. We just made some garbled sound, some syllables, and they already knew what we were saying or what we need. Such, indeed, is the language of love.

Similarly, when talking to our heavenly Father, we use the language of love. There is no need for long and elaborate prayers – and sometimes, words may not even be needed. We just talk to Him like a little child – with simplicity, humility, tenderness and love. That is why, the prayer that Jesus taught is short, simple but profound – and truly pleasing in the eyes of our loving Father.

St. Josemaría Escrivá said: ʺYou say that you donʹt know how to pray? Put yourself in the presence of God, and once you have said, ʹLord, I donʹt know how to pray!,ʹ rest assured that you have begun to do so.ʺ

Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches




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