Occasion: Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
You can find the full readings here. This Lectio is based on the reading from Romans 8:26-27
Brothers and sisters:
The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness;
for we do not know how to pray as we ought,
but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.
And the one who searches hearts
knows what is the intention of the Spirit,
because he intercedes for the holy ones
according to God’s will.
weakness, intercedes, intention of the Spirit, God’s will
This short reading seems very appropriate for me at this time. During the last few days, I have had a few people ask for prayers. The past week has been trying for me in particular. For one, I had a job application turned down. There have also been a few personal issues that my family has been facing and they really came to head this past week.
We all know how to simply ask God for something we want. “Lord, please help me get this job.” “God, please help me get this promotion.” “Please, Lord, heal my sister.” What about when we have multiple issues? What about the times when it seems there is one major thing after another and there is a domino effect and it all just comes crashing down on top of us? In those times, ever stop formally making the specific request and just crying out, “Lord, HELP!?”
I felt like that the other day. It felt like I had been praying forever for these certain intentions and things seemed to only be getting worse. One morning on the way to work, I spoke to God a bit more casually than I normally do. “Lord, where are you? Things are past desperate, and I need your help, PLEASE!”
Later that day, I actually got some good news. Not a total resolution, but a ray of hope pointing in one direction. My mother and I were discussing all this, and I felt that I had been disrespectful to God. She pointed out that even the saints lost patience and were fearful because they did not always understand God’s will, or if He was even listening. St. Therese of Lisieux wrote, “While I do not have the joy of faith, I am trying to carry out its works at least.”
Another point St. Paul makes in this reading is that we may not always know what to pray for. We may think we know our needs, but the Holy Spirit truly does know them, and intercedes on our behalf. Maybe this is what it means to just tell God, “Here is the issue, Lord, and I place it in Your hands!”
I know God does everything at the right time and in His own way. I do not always feel it, and sometimes I wonder if I can wait as long as He can, but I know He does it. Knowing and feeling are two different things.
Sometimes, knowing is all we have. For now, at least, I
feel like I can keep stepping a little bit longer.
(Written by Joseph Cook, posted by Rusty Tisdale)