“It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument” ( I Tim 2: 8). Both readings today’s focus our attention on prayer. We are challenged to reflect on what and whom we should pray for as well as how we are to pray. It seems somewhat obvious that we should pray without anger or argument. But in a world so divided by ideology and competing interests it may not be that simple.
We are being encouraged by St. Paul to offer supplications for kings and for all in authority. But in a divided world just how should we make these supplications? We may have to ask ourselves does our prayer become just one more way of dividing ourselves.
In the gospel we have the story of the centurion petitioning for his dying slave. The elders of the Jews approach Jesus explaining that he deserves to have this request heard because he earned it by what he has done for the nation. The centurion presents the request himself from an entirely different perspective. “I did not consider myself worthy to come to you.” His approach is one of simple trust that all that is needed is that Jesus say the word. He expresses a willingness to accept, not expect.
St. Peter Julian writes: “Have confidence in prayer. It is the unfailing power which God has given us.” Praying without anger or argument can only happen when we are at peace within our own hearts. It happens when we pray with deep faith and trust in the power of God’s love in our lives. What needs healing in our hearts? Let us pray today as we do in every Eucharist, “Lord I am not worthy, but say only the word and I shall be healed.”
Let us pray:
Lord, how true it is that we do not know how to pray as we ought. With humble trust we ask you to send your Spirit into our hearts that we might be filled with peace and wisdom and holy longing. Amen.
Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)