17th Sunday in Ordinary Time

07-24-2022Weekly Reflection©LPi

Meister Eckhart asks, “Who is the man whose prayers God always hears?” He answers, “God hears the man who appeals to God as God. When, however, man appeals to God, hoping for some worldly good, he is not appealing to God at all, but to what he is asking of God. He is trying to make God his servant. On this point, St. Augustine says: ‘You pray to what you love, for true whole prayer is nothing but love!’ Thus, we pray to what we love, and no one rightly prays to God but he who prays for God and has nothing on his mind but God.” We struggle with what we want God to do and how we want our prayer validated. Meister Eckhart is correct. We often want God to be our servant. We further struggle with trusting that God knows what we need and that His will is best.

God’s will is not some predetermined outcome of events that we must simply suggest. “Thy will be done” is not an invocation beckoning us to accept a particular state of affairs passively. Rather, it is the humble and confident placement of ourselves in the presence of the God we seek, whom we call “Father.” We must remember that God is the God of life and light. It is from nothing that God brings something and from the darkness that God brings life. Prayer allows us to seek the One we love with the assurance that all will be well regardless of what course the events of our lives take. God is not about passive submission but the humble trust of love.

That’s what makes the Lord’s Prayer the perfect prayer. It provides us with proper disposition and focus, putting in line all of the essential relationships of our lives. It celebrates and fosters the ever-deepening relationship of trust we have with our Creator. It also calls us to keep open the doors of love between our brothers and sisters with the power that comes with forgiveness. If in one’s darkest hour they can find the resolve to fervently pray this perfect prayer of Jesus’ conviction, then there is no doubt that God will hear their plea, reach out in love, and bring them ever closer to His heart. What more does one need to weather the storms of life besides faith, hope, and love? These are God’s most perfect gifts and all we really need.