June 22, 2017
Thursday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
The Gospel Today
Matthew 6: 7-15
Jesus said to his disciples:
“In praying, do not babble like the pagans,
who think that they will be heard because of their many words.
Do not be like them.
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“This is how you are to pray:
‘Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.’
“If you forgive others their transgressions,
your heavenly Father will forgive you.
But if you do not forgive others,
neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.”
REFLECTION (Sem. Keith R. Buenaventura)
The task of discerning God’s call could be quite daunting. The actual choosing itself is a very long process. It is not a one-time thing; choosing to love and serve God in a particular way is a decision that has to be made daily. So even today, being in the seminary, for instance, is something I need to choose every waking moment. Do I still want to be here? Is this where I could most lovingly serve God at this point in my life?
At several points, God would seem quiet in the discernment process. One should not think of it simply as His way of adding to the anxiety of calculating risks and eventually taking them.
The Gospel today presents to us Jesus’ own prayer to God the Father, which we use as the model of our prayers. The Lord’s prayer is a prayer of trust to the immense love of the Father. As a seminarian, I am learning to be patient with myself. Insisting on what I want will only cause me frustrations. It is better to submit to the will of God. The Lord’s prayer invites us to be inclusive in helping and loving our neighbor.
Whenever we pray this, there is usually an answer to our petitions. Sometimes, even God’s silence helps. It means that He has no intention of getting in the way of our free will—His gift to us. He wants us to make our own choices so that we do not blame Him for the consequences in the long run. In all this, I think one must remember that whether we choose this or that, there is nothing we can do to change God’s immense love for each of us. The Lord’s prayer is a constant reminder that God is in control and is always there to help us in all our needs and petitions.