“No, Slow, Grow, and Go!”

Newsweek magazine published these results of a poll in 1992: 78% of Americans prayed once a week, and 57% prayed at least once a day; 91% of women prayed at some time and 85% of men. Now after 20 years the result must be alarming! When we think about the problems we have in the families, we will be convinced that we need to get daily family prayer back in our homes. We need to use the power of prayer to bring families together, to put families together, and to keep families together.

This weekend the liturgical readings focus on the theme of “persistent prayer.” The underlying message is that we need to have faith in all circumstances, good or adverse. One measure of the depth of our faith is our constancy in prayer, because prayer is a battle of faith and the triumph of perseverance (ref. CCC #2573). Jesus ends the parable with a question, “But when the Son of Man comes [to judge the world], will he find faith on earth?”

In the first reading, the Amalekites waged war on Israel, and Israel had no choice but to fight back. Moses stood on top of the mountain overlooking the battleground. He was praying fervently for Israel with raised, outstretched arms. As he grew weary, his two aides, Aaron and Hur, seated him on a rock and held up his arms. “As long as Moses kept his hands raised up, Israel had the better of the fight, but when he let his hands rest, Amalek had the better of the fight.” When we join the army with Jesus, who prayed for us with outstretched arms on the cross, we will surely win the battle with our own Amalekites: the temptations and evil tendencies in our lives.

Now for us to get our prayers answered, the way that we want them answered, the request must be right, the timing must be right, and we must be right. But that is not always the case. If the request is wrong, God answers, "No." If the timing is wrong, God answers, "Slow." If we are wrong, God answers, "Grow." But if the request is right, the timing is right, and we are right, God says, "Go!"

In the Service of the Lord,
  Fr Thainese Alphonse


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St. Bernadette Catholic Church