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October 16, 2022 29th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Brendan wouldn’t stop. He continued nagging his mom to let him have a little more time with his phone.  He knew the rules but wanted to finish a game and text a few more friends. He begged, had a temper tantrum, pleaded, screamed, pouted, and used every means he could think of to get Mom to change her mind. Mom had a busy day and was tired. At first, she held her ground. Then, her son’s persistence got the best of her, and she caved. “Brendan, you can have 30 more minutes and no more!” she retorted.  Brendan’s determination paid off. He won.

Is this how it works with God too? If we want something enough and feel it is our due, does our persistence allow us to eventually get our way? Judging God by human standards, it would seem so. But is this the way God works? It gets a bit confusing when Jesus tells his disciples to “pray always without becoming weary” and then further tells them how God will “secure the rights of his chosen ones who call out to him day and night.” If we catch God at the right time, when he’s having a weak moment, then our tenacity ought to pay off. What we want, we will get. Really? Sadly, the way many approach prayer suggests that this is precisely how it goes.

Good parents set boundaries and offer proper discipline. They learn the art of being steadfast when presented with determined minds and wills. They know what is best and, at times, have to say “no.”  God is always there with His full attention and unconditional love showering itself upon us. God also knows what is best. And, as with any good parent, the one constant that is always available and never withheld is love. We can be as persistent and determined as we want if what we are seeking is God’s love. We are never a bother and requests for God’s love are never denied. This is the prayer of the heart. Desiring God alone and not only what we want God to do for us places this love relationship foremost in our minds, hearts, and souls. God is never bothered by this prayer. As we breathe in and exhale out, the Divine Life freely flows.