Grace to you!
One of the themes I’m passionate about is prayer. I can write about it all day and not be weary. This is, in part, because in prayer, I have the deepest connection with my core. In it, I find myself in God. In it, my love for my neighbor is renewed day by day. In its grace-filling web, I’m made whole.
I do not see prayer as a duty I owe. I do not see prayer as an obligation of my faith life. I see prayer as the very network, a web in which I live, and a spiritual network node of intimacy with my Lord and God.
Just like I can’t find any data from the Internet without a search, so I can’t live fully without being in this spiritual network of relationships. It’s the water in which my spiritual being is nourished by the grace flowing from the One in whom I’m in relationship.
I hear my Lord speak to me today about the necessity of prayer of intercessions (see Lk 18:1-8). It’s that kind of prayer when I lay my concerns, worries, needs and those of others before God. My Savior tells me to ask ceaselessly in order to receive answers.
It is like he is telling me his policy for receiving approvals of my proposals. He is giving me the protocol to access. It is in asking. It is in unceasing petitions.
One may say; but why would I have to ask when God already knows what I need? Why would I intercede when the Creator sees all and knows all?
I offer two reasons. One is that though God knows all and sees all, God has also left the power of managing the temporal world to us. God wants us to take charge. God wants us to reign with Him. God doesn’t give power and take it back again for no reason. God isn’t and can’t be an autocrat. God can’t be that micromanager. Such things as these we do not expect from the leader par excellence.
So, God says, ask me and I will do what is best in this case. God is telling you and me to ask for what we want and need; and leave the rest to Him.
Second, God is training us to be of the same mind as His. God’s mind sets things in the temporal order in a process of becoming. This is the whole idea of providence. It is that from small things, we mature into big. Look at life. It begins small. Then it grows. On several occasions, the Lord would speak of the nature of the kingdom using different parables to depict it. It is like a mustard seed (Mt 13:31-32). It is like yeast (Mt 13:33). All of these imageries show the idea of growth; from smaller things, from baby stage, to maturity.
If you have all the answers to your concerns, where is the thrill of receiving? If all your needs (spiritual and material) are already met, where is the fascination of discovery? If solutions are already found, why search?
All learning, education, religious studies and faith-life, etc., is predicated on the principle of discovery. You may call discovery new life or deeper life or enlightenment. You may call it growth trajectories. Whatever you call it, we don’t have all the answers, so we search.
Prayer of petition is an expression of this taste for discovery. Therefore, God is asking you to explore this taste. Seek. Knock. Ask and you will receive (Mt 7:7).
You don’t stop asking because you tried once and failed; or at least because it seems you failed. You don’t stop discovering because of numerous failures and poor returns. Even in your failures are locked incalculable answers. Keep knocking until you find. Such is openness to growth. Such is grace and maturing determination.
Today, I ask you to hold on to this Christ’s message. Pray until you receive answers.
May God answer your prayers. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[29th Sunday Ordinary Time C: Ex 17:8-13; 2 Tim 3:14-42; Lk 18:1-8]
On Talents and Spiritual Gifts
What is the difference between spiritual gifts, or the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and natural gifts or talents? Could someone be working miracles when the person isn't led by the Holy Spirit? How do we explain the phenomena of healings, visions, and other manifestations when the human instrument manifesting them doesn't seem to be led by the anointing of the Holy Spirit? These and more are some of the issues I addressed in this 2-part talk delivered at the Sacred Heart Church, Cambria, NY. It's designed for those who want to lead with their gifts and talents. You will hear a few of my personal spiritual encounters too. Part 2 of this renewal talk will be made available next weekend. Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube account https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCh4HIQg-mXFiHBbdKP3mXtQ… for regular updates. Share with family and friends.
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.