The readings of the Church for the 30th Sunday in Ordinary Time raise the timely question of what is prayer? Do we pray like the Pharisee who claims to be better than other people or rather do we pray like the tax collector who admits personal weakness. As Marists, we learn much from Mary who simply seems to listen and take in what she understands her Son and our God is saying to her.
I had the privilege of reflecting on these readings in our local parish and drew the following conclusions:
1. amidst all the noise of our world, there are plenty of wise people from whom we can learn;
2. perseverance is a virtue, particularly when life gets hard;
3. as we strive towards the fullness of God others will support us so that we can complete the race as Paul describes;
4. our continuing education is important to enable us to participate ethically in our world, as Jesus wants of us;
5. prayer is not, as the Pharisee believes, telling God how good we are; prayer is about listening humbly to God in the depths of our hearts;
6. Jesus calls us to be true to what we know to be right, even if that is not what we see happening around us.
Is this your understanding of these readings from the Book of Ecclesiasticus, St Paul to Timothy and St Luke?