What characterizes Christian prayer? Having faith in Jesus and courage to surpass obstacles as saints did.
According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis gave this reminder during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta as he reflected on the healings of the leper and paralytic told in today’s Gospel according to Mark.
During the homily, Francis reminded that as seen in the Gospels, one often sees that many who pray to the Lord, get that for which they were asking.
Reflecting on the healing episodes today, both pray to receive and do so with genuine faith. With courage, the Pope pointed out, the leper also challenged Jesus with courage.
“If you want you can purify me!” he said. The Lord’s answer, the Pontiff said, is immediate: “I want to.”
Everything is, as the Gospel teaches, “possible for those who believe,” the Pope reminded.
“Always, when we approach the Lord to ask for something, we must start from faith and do it in faith: “I have faith that you can heal me, I believe you can do this” and have the courage to challenge you, like this leper, this paralytic.”
The Gospel, the Holy Father said, leads us to question ourselves on our way of praying, warning we do not do this as “parrots.” We must have “interest” in what we ask for, saying “if anything, we beg the Lord to “help our little faith even in the face of difficulties.”
In the Gospel, there are many episodes, we can take as an example that in general, it was always difficult for those in need to approach God.
The paralytic being lowered from the roof from his stretcher to reach the Lord preaching among crowds in the Gospel, the Pontiff pointed out how one finds solutions among the difficulties.
We must have courage to have faith, believing that if Jesus wishes to do something, He certainly will.
“That courage … Many times, it takes patience and knowing how to wait for the moment, but do not give up, always go forward. But if I go with faith to the Lord and say: “But if you want, you can give me this grace”, and then but … as the grace after three days has not arrived, another thing … and I forget.”
When prayer is not courageous, the Pope said, it is not Christian
The mother of Augustine, St. Monica, Pope Francis reminded, prayed and “cried a lot” for her conversion son’s conversion, but eventually she succeeded.
She, among other saints, the Pope reminded, had great courage in their faith, even willingness to ‘challenge’ the Lord and really ‘get involved.’
“Christian prayer is born of faith in Jesus and always goes with faith beyond difficulties. A phrase to carry in our hearts today will help us, from our father Abraham, to whom the inheritance was promised, that is, to have a child at the age of 100. The apostle Paul says: ‘Believe’ and with this he was justified. Faith and to ‘set out’ in faith and do everything to get to that grace that I am asking for.
“The Lord told us: ‘Ask and it will be given to you.’ We also take this Word and we trust, but always with faith and putting ourselves at stake. This is the courage that Christian prayer has. If a prayer is not courageous it is not Christian.”
Pope Francis concluded, reminding that we are to trust fully in this courageous prayer.