Friday, October 22, 2010

Ur Sunday Dose: Pray what you Live, Live what you Pray!

Oct. 24, 2010
30th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Prison Awareness Sunday
Sir 35, 12-14; 16-18 || 2Tm 4, 6-8;16-18
Lk 18,9-14


Our Gospel for Sunday continues to talk on prayer. This time, Jesus speaks of two persons who are praying at the temple at the same time - a Pharisee and a Publican.

We all know that the Pharisees are the teachers of the law, and commonly the big guys of the society, along with the Saducees, Zealots and others. We also know that a publican is considered a sinner in the society because he collects tax for the Roman Empire, abusing it most of the time, and being hated by the people because he wants to serve foreigners more than his mother land.

The pharisee prays thus, 'O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity -- greedy, dishonest, adulterous -- or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’

The publican, who is at a distance, eyes downward, and hands striking his breast, prays, 'O God, be merciful to me a sinner.'

We see clearly who is the most blessed after they have left the temple: the Publican. Though his words are short, unlike the Pharisee, these came straight from his heart, full of sincere repentance for every wrongdoing he had undertaken.

Yes, God hears all our prayers, be it as long as a book, or as short as an aspiration. He hears us and grants it, according to his Providence. As I said on my last USD, He is never deaf to our needs, we just need to pray from the heart, with lots of faith. Though it might take a long time, we just need to be patient.

But we note that as Jesus said, whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted. In front of God, we have nothing to be proud of. We may take account of our accomplishments in front of others, but not in God's majesty.

We see this as a mirror of how we pray - and live. Commonly, we live like the pharisee, and pray like the publican. We live contrary to what we pray. We always say, Diyos ko, salamat po! Maawa kayo sa akin, at kailangan ko po nito..., but after we pray, the words which come from our mouth are these: Ay! Alam mo ba si ..., kabit ni ...! P$%# I*%!!! Sad to say this, but we pray with the mouth of the angels and live with the hand of devils. As we pray for various needs, we tend to work the other way around.

We are always reminded, my brothers and sisters, that we must pray what we live, and live what we pray. Prayer and lifestyle are inseparable. Though it is very hard to undertake, but we are always called to this vocation: Ora et Labora.

In front of God, we are barely nothing, and so we ask his mercy and strength. He is always here for us, listening to our needs. We just need to pray from our hearts, and shout it out through our daily life.


(BitZeke's Note: For this week, I've posted two editions of Ur Sunday Dose, this one and a special edition, Prayer and Vocations. To read the special post, click HERE.)

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