Reflection for Tuesday, March 8, 2022: 1st Week of Lent.

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Gillick, Larry, S.J.
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|A friend of mine related a story about his niece's two-year old daughter who was enjoying a little tantrum while facing away from her mother. The little darling was asked by her mother if she would like to go out to play. She stopped crying, turned and said, "No! not yet! I'm not done crying!" There's a good Daily Reflection there.|We are in the First Week of this "joyful season" of Lent. Today's Gospel relates Jesus' prayer instructions within His Sermon on the Mount. Babbling is a reference to the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11 in which there is a confusion of languages as a kind of punishment for trying to build a tower to find God.|Prayer can be similar to the mother's invitation to her daughter. "Do you want to go out to pray?" We often can give the same response to God, No! I'm not done crying, complaining, fussing yet!" We tend to want to avoid such thoughts as "Your will be done" or "give us today our daily bread." We would rather convince, persuade or dazzle God with words designed for personal best effect. How wonderfully human and interpersonal these communicational skills are often ending in such good results.|I have often caught myself imagining that God's Will, will be exactly in accord with my many good actions, words and desires. Why not, the Spiritual Life is a business after all, isn't it?|This is exactly what forms the context for Jesus' talk to the religious leaders of His times. While transactions are so natural, helpful and universal, God is not the banker, president or score-keeper. So what kind of relationship is Jesus inviting us into with His Father and ourselves?|We might reflect upon what "daily bread" and "Your will" might mean in the mouth of Jesus and in our ears and heart. Our "wills" depend on what we know, which depends on what our senses have communicated to us. Our "wills" move us to say, "yes" or "no." God's "Will" is a divine "Yes!" but to what? God's "Will" is to be God and so God's "will" is to love which is not a decision, but an eternal creational display. What does all that mean? Here's an attempt to explain God, more for your reflection than for expert clarity.|Is God changed by our requests and maybe even more by the sincerity or intensity and love of our words and feelings? I pray for many things and many persons of course. Then I come to the awareness that maybe I am praying with a good spirit and heart to receive the "daily bread" of absolute dependence. Just maybe, I am, in a way, praying to myself, or with myself and so am invited to eat the "daily Bread" of God's being God and I am the God-Loved me. I pray, usually, because that's all I can do, not with babbling, but with the tears of concern, but not always with assurance that I will get what I will to get.|God's "Will" is to be the God, who does not love, but is Love and can only be Who God is. Yes, I pray for Lisa to recover from cancer, but more truthfully, I pray that she receives her "daily bread" of God's being God each day. We pray that the Kingdom of God's Love come all over the world as God's "will" is in God eternally. For the most times, because we are loving, relational, caring persons we want to pray when our "crying" does not work. That "crying" is a wordless prayer from our hurting hearts and is also a prayer blessed by the Holy Water flowing from our eyes and spirits.|This Reflection ends with my still crying/praying, because I am not God. Crying is not babbling, but the wordless admission of our dignity as belonging to the family of God whose on-going Creator, Jesus called Father.
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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