“If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” Those words of Jesus come to us from today’s Gospel reading from Mark 9. For our first reading, we’re in James 4, where we get more amazing wisdom from St. James.
We pray about a lot of things, don’t we? And doesn’t it sometimes seem as though our prayers are not answered? Sure it does. But why is that? Is it because God does not hear our prayers? Of course not. Well, what then? I believe St. James gives us a glimpse in today’s reading. “You do not possess because you do not ask. You ask but do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” Ouch! But how right he is, huh?
You see, God will always give us what we NEED. This is often light years away from what we WANT. Or what we think we want. A Lotto victory? C’mon, God! Think of all the good I could do with that money! (Wink, wink.) And God replies, “Think of how you could ruin your life with that.” Funny, isn’t it? God knows better than we do what will work for us. So, perhaps it’s all a matter of asking rightly. Hmm…I believe Jesus taught us to do that. You know…Thy Kingdom come, THY WILL be done.
Father, forgive us for those times when we ask for things outside of your will. Teach us to be grateful for what we have, and ask only for what we need. Amen.
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