Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Fr. Ivan Olmo
Come, let us bow down in worship; let us kneel before the LORD who made us.” One of the great gifts of prayer is that we can pray all the time and be with the Lord everywhere, often and always. Prayer does not exhaust God nor is God exhausted by prayer however, we seem to grow weary at the thought of praying. At times, we seem to consider prayer a burden, a chore, too much work. We say we are too tired to pray which means we are too tired for God, too exhausted for divine intimacy and too burdened for relational grace. We deceive ourselves to believe that it is better not to enter into the prayer nor to enter into God’s presence. We say quietly to ourselves that God does not listen to us or think he does not hear us. We say to others that we do not pray because we know that God will ask us to do something or that he will ask us to give something up, terminate an unlawful relationship, or end an unhealthy friendship. We harden our hearts, we put our hands over our ears, and we close our eyes and ignore the promptings and groaning of the Holy Spirit. We do not understand that we simply cannot live or exist without prayer. Prayer is oxygen to the soul and a lifesaving remedy. Prayer is life giving, therefore to pray is to live, and to live is to remain alive in perpetual prayer with God. We pray to commune with God so that God may communicate himself to us. We pray to enter into a spiritual dialog with holy angels and saints. We pray to communicate with the Lord who desires to be and remain in communion with his poor creatures everywhere, often and always. Prayer is how we reach out to our patrons, our guardians and protectors and remain connected to the holy women and men who have gone before us in faith and still witness to the great gift of prayer by remaining in prayer with us and continuing to pray and intercede on our behalf. Prayer is how we assist our love ones who have died that they may rest in prayerful peace for eternity. We pray that they may live and that we may join them one day in perpetual prayer with Mary and Joseph and the holy angels and saints who experience the beatific vision and sing and pray Holy, Holy, Holy in the presence of the Lord who made us.