The Father’s Word is Truth
I would like to share with you the prayers of these little children ages 6-9 which I think can help us too on how to pray as children of God. Like them we have to be specific. Here are some of their prayers: Dear God: 1) Please send a new baby for Mommy. The new baby you sent last week cries too much. 2) How many angels are there in heaven? I would like to be the first kid in my class to know the answer. 3) This is my prayer. Could you please give my brother some brains? So far he doesn’t have any.4) Please help me in school. I need help in spelling, adding, history, geography and writing. I don’t need help in anything else. 5) Do you have any helpers in Heaven? I would like to be one of Your helpers in Heaven when I have summer vacation. 6) Tomorrow is my birthday. Could you please put a rainbow in the sky? 7) I need a raise in my allowance. Could you have one of your angels tell my father. Thank you.
Well the above children’s prayers are examples of a petition or intercessory prayer. In today’s gospel, Jesus makes mediation or intercessory prayers for the Twelve Apostles who are with Him, for all those close to His heart and for His future disciples.
Jesus’ intercessory prayer in today’s gospel has four elements. The first is protection for his disciples in this hostile world (vv. 11ff). Jesus always remains with His own, His disciples, forever especially when their journey towards the Kingdom is getting rough. In relation to this, I will share with you this story. There is a story about a man who lost his wife, leaving him to be both mother and father to a six-year-old son. After her funeral, father and son came home, both feeling so alone and grieved by their loss. That night as they prepared for bed, the boy asked, “Daddy, may I sleep in your room tonight, too?” But neither one could seem to go to sleep. They both tossed and turned until late in the night. Finally, the little boy asked, “Daddy, are you looking at me? Because if you are, I think I can go to sleep.” And the father answered, “Yes son, I’m looking at you.”
The little boy started at last to rest and finally fell asleep. After he was asleep the father got out of bed, walked over to the window and pulled back the curtain. He looked up into the starry sky and said, “Father, are you looking at me? Because if you are, I think I can rest and be at peace.”
Second is the world. Jesus who became man loves the world so much that He came to save the world from their sins. But in today’s gospel the world is some kind of a ‘Satan’ which is opposed to Jesus’ mission. And as followers of Jesus we should respond to insult with praise, to attacks with kindness, to hatred with love. This stamps us unmistakably as genuine followers of Jesus Christ, Christ the living person capable of generating real loyalty in us, not a Christ who is only an ideal to whom we pay lip service while living as followers of the world.
Third is joy, Jesus’ joy. Even if we are suffering from any misfortunes, Jesus’ joy is everlasting. We need this joyful message of Jesus in order for us to go on with this present life.
Fourth is truth, the very important aspect of life. Jesus consecrates or makes us holy to the truth. A priest said in his homily that we have a role to play in building up the Church. We need to pray for the Church’s unity and the sanctity of all her members. Let us pray for our bishops and priests so that they will be guided by God’s light in teaching and acting according to Christ’s wishes. We too need to provide a clear example of Christian charity. Christ drew many souls to himself because He is “irresistible” in his way with souls, repulsing only the most closed in mind and heart. Christ expects us to be his ambassadors of truth, charity and concern for souls.