Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Lord's Prayer and Water

How many times a day do you say The Lord's Prayer? It's worth thinking about for a moment. Today's Gospel (Mt. 6:7-15) is Jesus teaching His disciples how to pray. How often do you avert your attention to the invitation I use at Mass as the introduction to the Our Father: "we use the words of our brother Jesus as we pray..." These really are the words of Jesus and He allows us to call God "Our Father." In and through the waters of baptism, we become Children of God, a relationship we enjoy for both time and eternity.

Jesus also tells us "Your Father knows what you need before you ask him." What is the quality and quantity of our prayer? What is it that we really "need" to ask of God? If you're like me and were to make a list of the things I've asked God for, I am embarassed by the importance I have given to some things that I have brought to God with urgency in prayer. When I was younger, a child, teenager, or young man, I was asking God to make up for my lack of studying, my lack of preparation, my "something I should have done" or worse, "something I did." I'd like to say that as a priest, I have become much better in prayer, but I still fall back into some old habits. The difference is that now I catch myself, and look for what it is that I truly need; I ask Him to tell me, and then I listen. The listening part is the hardest part of prayer; make sure you try it!

Water in some form or another is all over the readings of the Lenten Season. In the first reading for today(Is. 55:10-11), rain and snow have the task of watering the earth "making it fertile and fruitful." The prophet Isaiah speaks on behalf of God Himself when he says God's word has a mission too, it "goes forth from my mouth ... shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it." Think: First, waters of baptism and their role in making the earth "fertile and fruitful." Then, the "word that goes forth from my mouth" is Jesus, the Eternal Word of God.

Every morning upon rising and every evening at bedtime we ought to bless ourselves with Holy Water, thanking God for His protection through the night in the AM and asking for it as we go to rest in the PM.

Do you have Holy Water in your home?

God bless you!