I don't often think of Jesus letting folks "have it", but occasionally He does. Today's Gospel is in the midst of an onslaught of rebukes directed towards the Scribes and Pharisees. For nearly two full chapters Jesus has been challenged and questioned by the teachers of the Law and now He shoots back. In today's Gospel Jesus speaks harshly to the Pharisees. So much for the "Jesus-loves-you-no-matter-what" kindergarten approach to Christ. He points to their hypocrisy in word and practice. He shows them how they have lost sight of what God has called them to
Too often I imagine myself standing behind Jesus as He rebukes people. Like a weak sidekick, I stand behind and off to the side and say, " Yeah, what He said." I like to imagine that I am on the right side and those rebukes are always given to everyone but me. However, I must be realistic. After all, if Jesus saw fit to call Peter "Satan" then I should not be surprised to find myself at the sharp end of Our Lord's rebukes. .
Lord Jesus, although this prayer is hard to pray I cry out to You, "show me my hypocrisy." Let me see the areas of my life that pull me away from what is important. Give me the wisdom to understand how I focus on giving myself glory while claiming to give You glory.
Woe to you, James, for you...
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How to get better at prayer.
- Set a prayer appointment - Set a time on your calendar each day to meet and speak with God.
- Slowly increase your prayer time. - Don't jump in with an hour right from the get-go. Build up your "tolerance" so to speak.
- Commit - to praying and slowly increasing your prayer time for 30 days. Mark off the days on your calendar. If you miss a day, jump right back in, don't give up.
- Pray - praying is talking to God, it's spending time with your attention focused on Him. I enjoy spending time with my children regardless of their level of development. God is the same way. Spend time praying as best you can. Use formal prayers if you want or simply speak in conversation. Don't forget to listen
- Journal - Our newly revised 4 Simple Steps to Better Scripture Meditations: Guide, Workbook, and Journal walks you through 4 easy steps that will help you go deeper in your prayer life. It includes 31 days of workbook and journal pages too!
- Read other good books about how to pray better - Prayer Primer, Deep Conversion, Deep Prayer, Time for God, The Spiritual Life: A Comprehensive Guide to Catholics Seeking Salvation.