Wednesday of the Twenty-SeventhWeek in Ordinary Time
Why we pray
He was praying in a certain place, and when he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us, and do not subject us to the final test.” Lk 11,1-4
One day a few years ago, at the end of our testimony on the public prayer in family, a married couple asked us: “’We also would like to start praying during the morning breakfast, but how can you convince the older sons to follow, if until now we never prayed together? What do we say?”. “Nothing in particular – we said – you can only say that the desire to begin to pray together is born in you and you would be happy for their participation. Probably they will not do so immediately, but when your prayer will bear fruits, you will be joined also by them”. This was the strategy of Jesus for the birth in the disciples of the desire to pray. He never asked to the people who had chosen nor a declaration of faith neither a communion prayer, he only called them to be with him and he waited with patience that both needs were born spontaneously. Something which not could not happen in front of the evidence of the transforming power of the prayer in his life. As it had happened to Moses, who after praying on the mount was used to return down to the valley with his face bright, even Jesus, after having spent hours in prayer with the Father, returned transformed to the disciples. He ascended the mountain to pray after the multiplication of the loaves, when he felt to be misunderstood by both the crowd, which wanted to make him king, and by the apostles; he prayed the entire night before choosing the twelve, when he needed to discern which persons to choose among the disciples; he spent the whole night in prayer in the garden of the Gethsemane, to find the faith and the strength to accomplish the Father’s will up to the end. When Jesus returned from prayers always exceptional events happened: he has chosen the twelve apostles with confidence, he walked on the waters or he transformed himself, as in the prayer on the mount Tabor, which was attended also by Peter, James and John. Faced with these wonders, the disciples could not ask Jesus to teach them nothing else than to pray and so it flowed from his mouth the splendid prayer of our Lord, with which all of us, every morning, begin our day.