In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen!
“The poorest children in the world are those whose parents gave them nothing but money.” When we pray, when we open our hearts to God, should we tell him what we want? If we do, do we share with God what we want in hopes that God will give us what we pray for? Many of us often wonder why God does not answer us the way we want to be answered – why doesn’t God just give us what we want?
“If God rewarded us immediately the way we wanted, then we would be engaged in business not Godliness…pursuing profit and not piety” – St. Clement of Alexandria. In other words, my dear brothers and sisters, if God gave us what we wanted, when we want it then we would truly be impoverished similar to how if our parents only gave us money rather, then give us the tools, skills and abilities to face life’s challenges. Our relationship would be merely a transaction rather, then communion. Additionally, as the proverb states, “give a man a fish, they eat for the day, teach a man to fish, they will eat their entire life.” It is the same with our faith!
As children of God, we understand and we believe that God knows our needs and our necessities, our wants, our likes, our dislikes, even more than we could ever understand or articulate. Therefore, why even pray in such a manner? Why ask God for anything if he already knows what we need? In today’s Gospel we read the story of Christ Jesus turning the water into wine. And we love this story of Jesus miraculously making delicious wine at a wedding party. Not only do we see and read of what Christ did for his first miracle, according to the Gospel of John, but we also see how he was almost hesitant in helping at all and yet, listened to his mother, St. Mary’s, request. However my dears, something we often overlook, or maybe never thought of, is that Jesus knows, from the very beginning, that the wine is finished. Christ is aware of what is happening in the same way, that God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit know what is happening in our lives and what we need. And it isn’t St. Mary’s pestering Jesus that changes his mind, nor is it that Jesus was waiting for someone to ask – rather, it is the trust that we see that St. Mary has in Christ Jesus knowing that God will provide, God will bless and bless with not what is merely needed but with something even better. We in fact see St. Mary praying to God – in the same way we must pray.
When we pray, we don’t pray a list or present a proposal in anticipation for what we ask. God is not Santa Claus nor is He a businessman. But rather when we pray, we confess, we open ourselves and we express our emptiness and inabilities, our challenges and our goals. But we do so not out of hopelessness or defeat but with hope, trust, love and faith that God will give us exactly what we need in order to heal, to grow, to eat, to drink, to believe, to be wealthy in faith.
A trust that God will fill our emptiness not with something as plain as water, but rather, with something as satiating, and miraculous as wine. If our trust and faith in God was only evident when we get what we want, we would be truly poor in our faith. We would be like a child whose parents only give them money but never teach them about the value of work, care, dedication. We would, as the saint teaches, only come to God when we had business. We would eat for the moment but starve the rest of our lives.
However, God’s love for each of us wants much more than the momentary satisfaction of a full stomach. God’s love for us is to be always blessed and always fulfilled. This begins when we come into communion with Him through Christ Jesus. As St. Paul says, “Christ Jesus [is] our hope” (v.1). That is why the priest every Sunday lifts up the chalice with the body and blood of Christ and says, “this is life, hope, resurrection, forgiveness and remission of sins.” This is how we begin our communion with God; this is how and why we pray; this is how we trust God to turn our water into wine.
Therefore, yes, we must pray and ask God for His guidance. We must come to God and open the depths of our hearts because through humble prayer we remain in communion with God. So let us always come to God with the same trust and hope that St. Mary came to Christ Jesus at the Wedding in Cana. Let us believe when we pray that God will equip us with everything we need, more than we could ever understand. Let us pray that God will bless us with everything that will enrich our faith and never leave us impoverished and poor. So that we, together, can grow in communion with Him and together learn how to always glorify our Father in Heaven, with His Son, Christ Jesus and the Holy Spirit, Amen!