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Friday of the Thirty-Third Week in Ordinary Time

My dear encountered couples:

Some Jewish people were using the temple for the purpose of making money. And it seems they were not even doing it honestly; Jesus called them thieves. “My house is meant for a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves,” Jesus told them.

I wonder if prayer is ever used in sort of a thieving way. Do you suppose some people pray only in order to get something they want? That they think if they butter God up by speaking to him in a certain way, they might get him to do whatever it is they want?

Sounds absurd, but the human mind can come up with all sorts of schemes. Like children who might be good just before Christmas time, who say and do all the right things in order to get the presents they want, maybe some people work God that way.

Maybe some people pray and live as they think God wants them to in order to get something out of him. Then, like the children who right after Christmas go back to being Dennis the Menace, they return to their old ways after they’ve gotten what they want from God.

Sounds sort of like trying to con God, doesn’t it? Trying to fool him in order to steal his favors. Can’t imagine any of us doing anything like that. When we pray, we do it from the heart and leave the decision up to God - his will be done. When he doesn’t grant our requests, we continue loving him and living good lives anyhow. When he does grant them, we show him our gratitude by trying to live even better lives.

No, we’d never even think of using a church for anything other than as a house of prayer, and we’d never use prayer as a means to con God, to steal from him, would we? Perish any such thought.

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