Homily for Tuesday of the 12th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II
Theme: THE GOLDEN RULE OF PRAYER
By: Fr. Ben Agbo
Homily for Tuesday June 23 2020
* 2 Kg 19 : 9 – 36, Matt 7 : 6 – 14.
The Sermon on the Mountain is full of golden rules from the Master, Jesus – Golden rules of blessings, Matt 5, Golden rules of prayer, Matt 6, and Golden rules of charity, Matt 7. Let me just speak briefly on the last two. The Golden rules of charity states in its positive form : ‘As you wish that men would do to you, do so to them’ OR in its negative form : ‘Do not do to others what you would not like done to yourselves’, Tob 4 : 15. The Golden rules of charity sounds quite good. The problem is putting them into practice when we deal with others of different race, religion, sex, etc. This rule is cardinal! It connects to the rest of the rules ; If you bless others, you will be blessed by God ; If you hear the prayers of others, God will hear your own prayers ; If you are charitable in judgment against others, God will be charitable in judgment against you.
There is also the Golden rule of Prayer : ‘As you wish God should answer your prayers in time of need, try and be faithful to him in normal times…As you wish that God should forgive you your sins, try and forgive those who trespass against you…’. God always responds to our prayer of faith in critical situations. Oftentimes we shy away from presenting ourselves in prayer before God when we break these golden rules. We resort to looking for ‘prayer contractors’ who will do it for us. If all the Kings of Israel were as prayerful as Hezekiah, King of Judah, Israel would not have suffered under their enemies. In today’s 1st reading, we see the threat letter from Sennacherib, King of Assyria being spread before the sanctuary of the Lord in prayer by the prayerful King, Hezekiah.
God’s response is always swift when our faith is firm because ‘those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion that cannot be shaken’, Ps 125 : 1. Our relationship with Jesus must be symbiotic ; It must be a friendly relationship since love is reciprocal. He said : ‘ I no longer call you servants but friends’, Jn 15 : 15. He is always faithful even when we are faithless, but will disown us when we disown him, 2 Tim 2 : 12. This beautiful hymn says it all : ‘What a friend we have in Jesus all our sins and grieves to bear ; what a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer. Oh what joy we often forfeit, Oh what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer’.
May God bless you today!