+Pax et Bonum
I was talking with an old friend of mine the other day, and he was telling me that his wife was mad at him. I asked him what he had done, because, after all, this guy is a friend of mine who I’ve known for years, and his wife is a saint. And he told me. And it was a stupid mistake. Then I asked him how he knew that his wife was upset with him. And he told me that she was giving him the silent treatment. Now, first all, wives, please know that there are many, many husband out there who like the silent treatment. This is not a good punishment. It just makes things worse. Then of course, my friend decides to get his wife to talk by making her laugh. He comes up with this whole list of practical jokes, to make her laugh and get her talking again. Guys, this is not a good strategy. If your wife is angry at you, there probably aren’t too many of your jokes that she’s going to laugh at. But at least my friend tries, right? So he starts out by fixing her breakfast. He makes by making pancakes with blueberries in them, one of his wife’s favorites, and makes a smiley face design in the pancakes with the blueberries. And he said that that did get a little smile. Next he hid her cell phone in the refrigerator, and then kept calling it until she answered. That one was not so funny and probably didn’t help his cause. But then, finally, he put a live goldfish in her favorite water bottle that she took to work every day. She found the fish. She just didn’t find it until after the fish had died, and also after she had already drank part of the water. At least it got her talking.
We’ve got two readings today about talking to God. And what is our talking to God? Well, we call that prayer. Prayer is very important. If we are going to be Catholic Christians, we are going to have to become people of prayer. In our First Reading from Genesis, Abraham is talking to God. Abraham is praying. God has revealed to Abraham that He has had it with Sodom and Gomorrah, and that He plans to destroy both of those cities. Now Abraham knew at least some people who lived in those two cities. And so Abraham gets gutsy in his prayer. And he starts bargaining with God to spare the lives of the innocent and the good in those two towns. If you notice Abraham is not only very bold in talking to God, but Abraham keeps persevering in his prayer, in his bargaining with God, so much so, that he gets God down to if He can find just ten good people, God will not destroy the cities. Abraham’s perseverance has worked. His prayer was very important. The message of course for us, is to also persevere in prayer. We can’t say a couple of ‘Our Fathers’ or ‘Hail Marys’ and call that prayer. Real prayer keeps going and perseveres. God is not going to mind if you are praying honestly and with all your heart.
Then, in the Gospel, Jesus is also teaching his followers about prayer. In fact, today He teaches them the Lord’s Prayer. Again, the message that is pounded home is that we are to persevere in our prayer and not give up. “Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.” These are amazing words coming from the Son of God Himself. We must be people of prayer. We must continually get better at our prayers. We need to talk to God. We need to trust God and rely on Him. But if we aren’t talking to Him, there’s a problem.
And so, let me ask you this… Are you giving God the “silent treatment”? Just as the silent treatment doesn’t work so well in any of our other relationships, most especially in our marriage, so too not talking to God, not praying, can destroy our relationships with God. We have a need to pray. God doesn’t need our prayers. But we most definitely do need to stay connected to God, to stay plugged in. And the only way that we have of doing that, is our prayer. We need to make time and space for prayer in our daily lives. We need to make it a priority. Has it been so long since you have really prayed and talked to God, that you would need to introduce yourself the next time that you get down on your knees? I hope not. But what is clear, is that for far too many of us, it has been too long, and we are not praying as we should. The silent treatment only hurts ourselves in all of our relationships. You can’t be in any relationship and not communicate. Let us not be afraid to ask God, so that we too may receive!
+ May God bless us today, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… AMEN !!!
St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!