The Prerequisite to Prayer

30th Sunday of Ordinary Time (C)

In this Sunday’s gospel, Jesus gives the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector, both of whom approach God in prayer — one with an attitude of arrogance and the other with an attitude of humility. Our Lord teaches, “whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be exalted” (Lk 18:14).

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Listening in the Silence

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

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Given the gospel reading this Sunday (Mt 14:22-33), it is tempting to focus on the faith of Peter. The disciples are sailing on the Sea of Galilee, a few miles off shore. During the fourth watch of the night (sometime between 3 and 6 AM), they see Jesus walking on the water toward them. They think it’s a ghost and so demand proof that it is Jesus. Peter says, “Lord, if it is You, command me to to come to You on the water.” So Jesus commands Peter, and Peter does indeed walk out on the water toward Jesus. But when Peter becomes frightened he immediately begins to sink. He cries, “Lord, save me!” Jesus reaches out and catches Peter, gently chastising him for his lack of faith.

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