Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Poured Out Her Prayer

At that time, then, she spread out her hands, and facing the window, poured out her prayer: “Blessed are you, O Lord, merciful God, and blessed is your holy and honorable name. Blessed are you in all your works forever!” At that very time, the prayer of these two suppliants was heard in the glorious presence of Almighty God. So Raphael was sent to heal them both.  Tobit 3:11,16-17A

He is not God of the dead but of the living.  Mark 12:27

The fifth degree of humility is, when one hides from his Abbot none of the evil thoughts which rise in his heart or the evils committed by him in secret, but humbly confesses them. Concerning this the Scripture exhorts us, saying: “Reveal thy way to the Lord and trust in Him.” And it says further: “Confess to the Lord, for He is good, for His mercy endures forever.” And the Prophet likewise says: “I have acknowledged my sin to Thee and my injustice I have not concealed. I said I will confess against myself my injustice to the Lord; and Thou hast forgiven the wickedness of my sins.” The Rule of St. Benedict, CHAPTER 7: On Humility (Part 9)

How God answers us depends on the disposition of our hearts when we ask the question. 

The tricks and traps continue as the Sadducees try to snare Jesus into rhetorical riddles.  This time, the questions focus on the experience of a woman who had many husbands when she gets to heaven.  By human standards, they want to know whose wife she will be when she gets to heaven.

Jesus teaches about the differences between heaven and earth.  However, the more important teaching is that the Lord is God of the living, guiding us to his path of peace, not division.  We can remain close to Him through prayer as we hear in the first reading when the prayers of Raguel’s daughter Sarah were heard and answered. 

Tobit’s heart and Sarah’s heart were open to the work of the Lord in her life.  She poured out her ego and replaced it with prayer.  The Sadducees were open to arresting Jesus, not changing the direction that they looked for power.  They bottled up their power internally and did not pour it out. 
Sarah’s prayers were answered.  The Sadducees questions were not springing from a humble heart or mindset. Their pride allowed evil thoughts to rise up to betray Jesus.  Sarah set aside her desires to allow the Lord to work in her life.

According to website, here is part of the story of today’s saints:

One of 22 Ugandan martyrs, Charles Lwanga is the patron of youth and Catholic action in most of tropical Africa. He protected his fellow pages (aged 13 to 30) from the homosexual demands of the Bagandan ruler, Mwanga, and encouraged and instructed them in the Catholic faith during their imprisonment for refusing the ruler’s demands.

For his own unwillingness to submit to the immoral acts and his efforts to safeguard the faith of his friends, Charles was burned to death at Namugongo on June 3, 1886, by Mwanga’s order.

Like Charles Lwanga, we are all teachers and witnesses to Christian living by the examples of our own lives. We are all called upon to spread the word of God, whether by word or deed. By remaining courageous and unshakable in our faith during times of great moral and physical temptation, we live as Christ lived.

On his African tour in 1969, Pope Paul VI told 22 young Ugandan converts that "being a Christian is a fine thing but not always an easy one."
What are your difficult challenges?  How can Sarah, Tobit and Charles Lwanga help you to tackle them with humility?

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