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Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

Why Pray?

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

“O woman, great is your faith!” Matthew 15:28

The “foreigners” as Isaiah calls them, the “Gentiles” as Paul calls them, or the “Canaanites” as Matthew calls them are called to worship the one true God in prayer. As we listen to today’s readings, perhaps we are tempted to ask: Why pray? The question is rhetorical; it is tantamount to asking why should friends talk to one another or people in love kiss one another. Prayer is a way of relating to God, a way of talking to God. The apostles had the opportunity to talk to Jesus in the flesh. We have the opportunity to talk to Jesus Christ in prayer. Our relationship with him must be enthusiastic; it cannot be faint-hearted. John Donne, a fifteenth-century poet, knew what the qualities of good prayer were. Donne asks God to treat him differently from most Christians. The poet does not want God to merely “knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend,” but also to “break, blow, burn, and make me new” (Holy Sonnets, XIV).

It takes a dynamic faith on our part to come to God in prayer. As Jesus once said, “Knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). It may take pounding the door down, but if we are as persistent as the woman in today’s Gospel, the results will follow.

Readings for the Week

Monday: Ez 24:15-24; Dt 32:18-21; Mt 19:16-22
Tuesday: Ez 28:1-10; Dt 32:26-28, 30, 35cd-36ab; Mt 19:23-30
Wednesday: Ez 34:1-11; Ps 23:1-6; Mt 20:1-16
Thursday: Ez 36:23-28; Ps 51:12-15, 18-19; Mt 22:1-14
Friday: Ez 37:1-14; Ps 107:2-9; Mt 22:34-40
Saturday: Ez 43:1-7ab; Ps 85:9ab, 10-14; Mt 23:1-12
Sunday: Is 22:19-23; Ps 138:1-3, 6, 8; Rom 11:33-36; Mt 16:13-20

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Wednesday: St. John Eudes
Thursday: St. Bernard
Friday: St. Pius X
Saturday: Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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