Tuesday of the First Week of Lent
(Isaiah 55:10-11; Matthew 6:7-15)
Today’s first reading is taken from the end of the second part of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. It shows God about to act on behalf of His people mired in Babylon. No more will they have to bear insults and prejudice from their overlords. God will send them home to Jerusalem with the utterance of His word.
In the gospel Jesus assures his disciples that the Father is ready to assist them as well. Their prayers do not inform God of their needs nor catalyze Him to act. Rather their prayers prepare them to receive humbly what God is about to give. In 2010 thirty-four Chilean miners were trapped after an underground explosion. They were of different faiths and no faith, but they began to pray together. “We are not the best of men, Lord,” they prayed, “but have mercy on us anyway.” All the miners survived the ordeal.
Lent is time to relearn how to pray. We come to God humbly knowing that He can help us in our need. We look to Him as our loving Father ready to give us what we request. And we pray diligently, not allowing our minds to wander or our hopes to wane.