Monday, February 29, 2016

Reflection: Luke 4:24-30

Monday of the Third Week of Lent – Luke 4:24-30

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is teaching His disciples how to pray.  He begins by telling them that words alone are not sufficient.  Often I realize when I am praying Morning Prayer or Evening Prayer that I am not fully present to what I am doing.  Yes, I am praying the words.  However, too often, my mind is miles away. 

One of the gifts of the prayers such as the Our Father and Hail Mary is that we can pray them very easily.  These prayers are ingrained in our beings.  Most of us learned them at a very young age when, most likely, we simply rattled them off!  Yet, despite our lack of attentiveness, we still were praying even if it only was on a superficial level.

The gift is that these formal prayers become an integral part of us.  The downside is that they may become automatic.  However, even automatic prayer is still prayer if our intention is to pray.  And when our minds wander, we may not be as fully present to God as we hoped to be. The gift is that God understands us.  God is the one who created us with “monkey” mind:  a mind that swings from one limb to another in a few seconds.  God is patient with us! 

Today Jesus gifts his disciples with the Our Father.  While you have heard this prayer thousands of times, today I invite to pray the Our Father rather than simply say the Our Father.  Take your time and pray this prayer slowly and mindfully two times.  Then sit quietly for a few minutes.  If we do this regularly every day, we may notice a change within ourselves and perhaps a change in our relationship with Jesus.  What a gift that would be!

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