Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary
Thursday, October 7, 2021
Holy Ghost Church – 8:00 Mass
Malachi 3:13-20b; Psalm 1:1-2, 3, 4 and 6; Luke 11:5-13
Whenever the Jewish rabbis repeated one concept three times with three different words, it was a sign of EXTREME EMPHASIS. This is what Jesus does in today’s gospel.
He uses TWO parables – the sleeping friend and the fish/egg vs. snake/scorpion – to illustrate how we must entrust ourselves and our needs to God, and so enter into a true childlike relationship with him. And then he exhorts us to be very persistent with God by asking, seeking, and knocking. Today’s parable is a lesson in both how to pray and in the power of prayer.
Jesus knows that our hearts burn with deep and passionate desires–for meaning, for happiness, for peace, for wisdom, for counsel, for love, for blessings – our hearts are furnaces of desires because God has made them this way.
Ours is not a religion that promises peace only by extinguishing our sinful desires. As I’ve said before, Christianity is not simply about sin management. On the contrary, Jesus invites us to feed our GOOD desires by expressing them insistently to the One who can fulfill them.
Life itself, with all the yearnings it gives us, is God at work within us. Every good desire we experience is like a promise from the Lord. He wouldn’t give us hearts that yearn so much if he wasn’t able to satisfy beyond all expectations the yearnings we experience.
We have all prayed to God for so many things. We have asked him for so many graces and favors; we have sought and knocked so often, just like the somewhat annoying friend in today’s parable. But it seems that more often than not our petitions are not heard. Doesn’t it? Be honest.
When God doesn’t answer our askings, seekings, and knockings the way we expected, we can be sure that it’s only because what he has in mind is better than what we have in mind.
The fulfillment the Father yearns to give us is much deeper than we can ever realize, although he sometimes allows us to glimpse it even in earthly terms, as he did when answering the prayers of all Christendom in 1571 at the Battle of Lepanto, as we heard from Father at the beginning of Mass. A battle that was won against all odds because the Christian sailors wielded a most powerful weapon against their enemies, they persistently prayed the Rosary.
Many of you pray the Rosary daily and you are well aware of the power of this devotion. So many prayers have been answered through the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary.
Some of you may not pray the Rosary and I’d like to encourage you to consider doing so. If you’re just getting started, there are many excellent resources available online to assist you. Later today I’ll be publishing this homily on my website (deaconscott.com) where I’ll include links to some of my favorite Rosary resources.
The Lord’s message to us today is that we should never give up on him, always persisting, relentlessly bringing our needs to him in prayer. Let us take comfort in the words from today’s first reading: “the Lord listened attentively,” knowing that he is always listening to us, to our prayers and our petitions.
As we petition him let us know with certainty that he loves us with an everlasting love that has no bounds, and that he is smiling upon us, because, as he reminds us in today’s first reading, we are his, his own special possession. He is our loving Father and we are his beloved children.
Today let us renew our commitment to follow and obey him every single day of our lives, no matter what. And let us never stop asking, seeking, and knocking for the fulfillment of the longings he has placed within our hearts.
God bless you.
River of Wisdom: A Retreat Guide on the Rosary (the full Study Guide)
– may require the creation of a free account to view
How to Pray the Rosary – USCCB
The Hallow App – How to Pray: The Rosary
Dynamic Catholic – How to Pray the Rosary