Oct. 23, 2022 | Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
~ Matthew 23:12
Our Sunday readings continue to focus on prayer. While the widow who relentlessly sought a just decision from last week’s Gospel taught us the importance of persistence, this week’s Gospel is about attitude.
Are we humble like the sinful tax collector who recognized that he had made poor choices and needed God’s mercy? Or are we, haughty like the Pharisees, needing to earn God’s love by providing a list of the good things (or transactions) to win favor? Wherever you land, remember that St. Paul began his adulthood as a Pharisee named Saul, full of vengeance, determined to destroy Christians. Hard to believe, right? Likewise, there is hope for all of us to receive God’s healing mercy and forgiveness! Yet, today, let’s ask ourselves, “does our prayer life come from a place of pride or humility? Is the time we spend with God transactional or relational?”
Now, take a minute and call to mind the person you value most in your life. This individual could be a sibling, a parent, a spouse, significant other, or a close friend — whoever. Regardless of who this “favorite person” is, you look forward to spending time with them. Nevertheless, maintaining a fulfilling relationship with them naturally takes work. So, you likely speak to them more than anyone else in your life, and you look forward to your check-ins.
Your conversations consist of genuine sharing with open dialogue, and you don’t feel the necessity to list your accomplishments as a basis to maintain your good standing in the relationship. I just described the prayer relationship our Heavenly Father desires to have with each of us!
Still, I know it can be challenging to prioritize prayer in our hectic lives, which is normal. That is why to help us confront these challenges and distractions, OLPH is welcoming Catholic speaker and author Joan Watson on November 9th at 7 PM in the Church. In her very practical talk, Joan will look at different ways to pray and tips for creating a plan for daily prayer. She’ll also look at ways to prepare for Advent and how to pray when life is busy, busy, busy! So, despite our modern lives brimming with distractions, deadlines, and other commitments, I hope you will join me in taking advantage of this upcoming event, So we can all learn how to set aside the best part of our day for God in prayer!