1 Kgs 19, 4-8; Ps 34, 2-9; Eph 4, 30-5,2; Jn 6, 41-51
“He prayed for death saying: “This is enough, O LORD! Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit Amen!
A question I”m asked all the time…Does God answer all of our prayers?
In short, the answer is no, and it’s a good thing that this is true!
In our first reading we see what happens when you know not what you’re praying for. We see St. Elijah asking for death, when he’s dead exhausted on the journey that he’s taking into the desert.
Think about it, how many times have you been angry with a friend, or gotten really frustrated on a freeway in the middle of rush hour, or when you’re thinking with emotion instead of logic?
Normally, I don’t see the use for personal stories in reflections, but for the sake of example, I’ll use one. Years ago, I had a best friend who I considered myself very close to. She was my confident with the personal struggles that were going on with my mother battling cancer at the time. Yet at the same time I liked this person because of her holiness, and her love of God…I asked her out. She knowing what I was going through rejected me, 3 days later my mom died.
In short my prayer to God went something like this “God, Transgress my anger and flood it upon her by taking her off the face of the planet, Amen!”
Now, before any of you ask, she’s still alive and she lives 2 streets behind my house. (Which is pretty amazing for someone who toyed with nuclear physics for fun times in HS)
That prayer was not answered…And I thank God that it wasn’t answered. I’d feel really guilty today if that prayer was indeed answered. I prayed that prayer out of the pure emotion of being rejected at the time I was most vulnerable in my life..that’s precisely the reason why God did NOT answer that prayer or St. Elijah’s prayer. In times of vulnerablilty God in his Infinite Wisdom does not answer our prayer.
In the Bible, the word pisteuo (Greek for believe), used in St. John’s Gospel numerous times, is literally translated “to obey.” Believing in something is not just an interior conviction but also requires action to go with that interior conviction.
The reason why I mention this, In the Gospel passage that we have today, this is the Eucharistic discourse given by Jesus where he repeats himself 5 times on the same point “I am the break that comes from heaven” I am connecting back to the Old Testement when God reveals who he is to St. Moses (See Ex 3, 14)…Emphasising Jesus Divinity.
When you read many of the parables in the Bible, you’ll find that when those thick headed disciples didn’t get it, Jesus explained what he intended by the parables. For example in St. Matthew’s Gospel Chapter 13 verses 31-58, we see after the parable of the mustard seed that the Disciples ask for an explanation, unlike here in St. John’s Gospel, where everyone understood what was going on. He meant this literally.
Remember that Eternal Life is made Possible through Jesus, and if you receive the Eucharist in the State of Grace on a consistent Basis, chances are really good that you’ll be doing well at the end of your life. Yet if you pray in vain, and not with a full heart, your prayers will not be heard.