Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Fr. Ivan Olmo

“The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought.” One of our greatest weaknesses is that we do not or cannot admit and say to ourselves or even aloud to another or even in a whisper that we are weak.  We tend to inflate ourselves and at times even embellish our conversations in order to mask or hide our weaknesses, which is simply a key indicator that we are weak and prone to sin.  Our pride indicates our weakness, the times we judge others harshly reflects our weakness and our hurtful responses to others reveals our own weakness.  We are weak and need God to strengthen us. We are poor and dependent and need God to enrich us and provide for us. Sin weakens us.  Sin hurts us and it hurts others. Scripture tells us when one of us hurts or suffers, the entire Body of Christ is impacted and feels the body weakened by sin.  It is an on-going battle we wage against God, against one another and unknowingly wage against ourselves.  How can we sin knowing how much it hurts us, our love ones and all creation? Sin reveals a wound in us caused and weakened by original sin, further weakened by generational sin and continues to weaken us through personal sin. Only God’s love and affectionate care can heal, strengthen and make like new again the places in us and in our lives wounded and weakened by sin but we do not pray, as we ought.  Why don’t we want to pray as we should?  Why can’t we pray knowing our lives depend on it? Why can’t we realize that prayer is the answer, the remedy, the key, the one who will strengthen us?   Prayer is such a gift from God.  Why would God want to communicate with us poor weak, sinful creatures knowing how selfish, self-centered, unreliable, untrusting we tend to be? That is a great mystery.  That is the gift and power of a profound love that has graciously and freely created us, redeemed us, constantly forgiving us and wants to pray and be with us always and forever.  So why not pray as you ought to, knowing that we are prone to weakness. Weakness can be a strength only in and through prayer.  Saint Paul reminds us to be and remain meek and humble and not sinful, boastful or prideful.  Saint Paul says, “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.”

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