Missionary Weekly Reflection
Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time, 28 July 2019
Gen. 18:20-33; Ps. 138:1-2a, 2b-3, 6-7ab, 7c-8; Col. 2:12-14; Luk. 11:1-13
“Our Father” prayer of Luke’s version teaches us many things. First, Jesus teaches about prayer, when He was praying by Himself. Luke always related prayer with the key events of Jesus’ life: He prayed at baptism, transfiguration, before choosing the twelve Apostles, before Peter’s confession and on the cross. Jesus teaches you and me that prayer is not primarily to fulfill a litany of personal needs, but also to keep on having God’s guidance and protection in the journey and struggle of our real life every day.
Second, prayer is an expression of unity with God. Prayer is not a formula or obligation, not even memorization, but a relationship. Jesus prayer begins with an intimate greeting “Father”. The relationship with God is intimate and direct, like a child to his parent. There is a faith on God’s protection and love. Jesus is the example: He withdrew Himself from crowd to be with His Father only (5:16). Sometimes Jesus prayed all night (6:12). Prayer has become His “habit” (22:39). Thus, prayer is not an additional activity, but an essential part of faithful life. Unfortunately, we often stick to a formula not a relationship. We often multiply intention, not to deepen the relationship. Prayer has declined to series of words which is made beautiful and arousing, but many time it is considered as a PIN number to access to the blessing ATM.
Third, a good relationship means respecting God as the “holy”. Holy means special and different. I respect Him as The Other, whom I can not play around nor force. I will not face Him as a scary and continously threatening tyrant. His name is sanctified means to be respected and not be harassed. In Old Testament, the Prophets criticized the Israelites, because their behaviour made God be mocked and ridiculed by other nations. Being commendable is the way to make the name of God be respected. We also keep on asking God to restore and sanctify His name, so that all human kinds admit and respect Him. That is when God’s Kingdom is really present in the world. God’s Kingdom has come and the humans feel it through the work of Jesus, and should be continuously presented in the action of His followers till now.
Fourth, Jesus always relates prayer with the needs and struggle in real life. There are two basic needs: food and mercy. That is the physical and spiritual foothold in life. Jesus Himself presented it in His mission: He gave food and offered mercy. All of them are abundant and free. That is what we keep on asking: sufficient “bread”, not abundance, mercy from God, and also we learn to forgive others.
Fifth, prayer also opens our wound and fragility. Prayer makes us realize that we are not hero who are always winner. We live in this challenging and unfriendly world. The danger of losing life guidance and faith is real. Let’s ask the Father not to give us too heavy challenge, so that we may not lose faith and be apostates.
(Hortensio Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society, Jakarta)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the world salvation. May the Holy Spirit, as the soul of Jesus, also lead and give me the strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus and the Church, I specially present my prayer to our Pope and Indonesian Church prayer apostles of this month:
For Evangelization intention:
Justice Integrity: May all justice supervisors can work with integrity and strive not to let the world be determined and controlled by injustice. We pray…
For Indonesian Church intention:
Forest Protection: May all human kinds be more aware of taking care of the forest as the lung of the earth and not to utilize and damage it for economic benefits. We pray…
May all people at our diocese inspirit all members of the base community to share the time in quality and full of joy during holiday season or working/school days. We pray…