Message from the Pastor
Notes Of Interests
NATIONAL NIGHT OUT
Our neighbors next door, Operation Pulse, will join communities around the nation in hosting a National Night Out Against Crime on Tuesday, August 2, 2016 in the 500 block of E. 22nd Street from 5 pm – 8 pm. There will be food, games, prizes, music, giveaways, community resources and much more!
Representatives from the Archdiocese of Baltimore will conduct a formal training session for lectors at St. Wenceslaus Church on Saturday, August 20 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the church.
Women’s Retreat: Saturday, September 17, 2016 8:30 am – 3:30 pm at the Mission Helpers Center 1001 W. Joppa Rd. 21204. Sponsored by St. Ann’s Sista Circle.
My Sisters and Brothers:
Our readings this week have something to teach us about the need to pray with confidence, and the importance of persevering in it as people of faith. This said, isn’t it true we may at times find ourselves somewhat conflicted about the usefulness of our prayers? We may find it easy to pray when doing so gives us peace and consolation, and when we sense our prayers are being heard and answered by the Father. But how about when the opposite seems to be much truer, and our prayers fail to console us, and when they seem to go unanswered? As faith-filled people we may hesitate to admit it, but at times we may be tempted to doubt that God is actually listening to our prayers. Perhaps this was the very reason the disciples in today’s Gospel reading asked Jesus to teach them how to pray (see Luke 11:1-13). They pleaded with him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”
Jesus responded to their request by teaching them the words to the “Our Father.” And then, parabolically citing a man who persistently begged for bread at midnight from his neighbor, he taught them about the need to be persistent when pleading for God’s attention. Jesus concluded his teaching with an emphasis on the metaphorical need “to ask, to seek and to knock” when praying to the Father.
Even though Jesus encouraged his disciples to pray, isn’t it true that we still may sometimes find it difficult to do so with confidence? It’s sad to say, but I think some of the awful news we hear every day may compound our hopelessness; current events, and our sense of powerlessness over them, may lead us to believe that our prayers on behalf of them are not being answered. How about the reality of terrorism, conflicts between nations, wars, political unrest, racial disharmony, civil tensions, gun violence, poverty, homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, and countless other problems “out there” that never end? How about the tragedies of death, illness, financial ruin, addictions, broken relationships, the lack of charity, and all kinds of other difficulties in our personal lives that seem to find us time and again? Isn’t it true that all of these issues may cause us great inner conflict, and may lead us to lose our confidence in the power of our prayers on behalf of them? And yet we are challenged always to persevere, to continue to pray and to keep our hope that God will answer.
In the first reading today, and like the persistent man cited in today’s Gospel, Abraham models a type of perseverance in prayer when over and over again he pleads to the Lord on behalf of the innocent people of Sodom (see Genesis 18:20-32). He says “see how I am presuming to speak to my Lord, though I am but dust and ashes” and “let not my Lord grow impatient if I go on,” and further “please, let not my Lord grow angry if I speak up this last time.” Even though Abraham may have been conflicted about whether or not to persevere with his pleading, it is because he did that the Lord eventually answered his pleas. And this is exactly what Jesus promised when he told his disciples “to ask, to seek and to knock” when praying to the Father.
And so my friends, let us not be discouraged by all those issues “out there,” and those within our own personal lives that might otherwise take away our trust and faith in God. Let’s be confident that our loving Father is always in control, and that he always gives us the hope to endure whatever difficulties may come our way. May we always persevere with the need to pray with confidence, and may we never doubt the eternal goodness and care of Our Father in Heaven. He’s got this!
Praise God! Friar Timothy
Masses & Sunday School
Sunday Mass — 10 am
Holy Days — 7 pm
Weekdays — 7 pm Thursday
(followed by Bible Study — 7:30-9:00pm)
Sunday School — Sundays,
October–May 11:45am - 12:30 pm
Pre K–8th Grade & Youth Group (SAY G) Grades 9 - 12