Friday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Isaiah 38:1-6.21-22.7-8; Matthew 12:1-8)
Pope Francis and the rest of the world prayed for the Thai schoolboys and their coach trapped in an underground cave for three weeks. God evidently heard the prayers as all were rescued although one rescuer died in the effort. In today’s first reading God likewise hears the prayer of Hezekiah, king of Judah.
Hezekiah is reckoned as a righteous king. He reformed the nation’s religious observance by demanding strict allegiance to worship according to the law. He could unashamedly turn to God for help when he was said to be dying. God not only healed him of his ailment but added fifteen years to his life.
Still sometimes God does not seem to answer our prayers. We have all prayed for people who did not recover from their illness. What are we to think then? That God is fickle -- answering some prayers and ignoring others? No, we believe that God always does what is best for us. We know that even Jesus prayed that his crucifixion might be suspended. If our requests are not granted, God will make us stronger through suffering.