calls his disciples to bring into their prayer this concern for coop
erating with the divine plan.
In Jesus “the Kingdom of God is at hand.”
He calls his
hearers to conversion and faith, but also to
the disciple keeps watch, attentive to Him Who Is and Him Who
Comes, in memory of his first coming in the lowliness of the flesh,
and in the hope of his second coming in glory.
with their Master, the disciples’ prayer is a battle; only by keeping
watch in prayer can one avoid falling into temptation.
on prayer are transmitted to us by St.
The first, “the importunate friend,”
invites us to urgent prayer: “Knock,
and it will be opened to you.” To the one who prays like this, the heavenly
Father will “give whatever he needs,” and above all the Holy Spirit who
contains all gifts.
The second, “the importunate widow,”
is centered on one of the qual
ities of prayer: it is necessary to pray always without ceasing and with the
of faith. “And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find
faith on earth?”
The third parable, “the Pharisee and the tax collector,”
of the heart that prays. “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” The
Church continues to make this prayer its own:
When Jesus openly entrusts to his disciples the mystery of
prayer to the Father, he reveals to them what their prayer and ours
must be, once he has returned to the Father in his glorified human
ity. What is new is to “ask
in his name.
Faith in the Son introduces
the disciples into the knowledge of the Father, because Jesus is “the
way, and the truth, and the life.”
Faith bears its fruit in love: it
means keeping the word and the commandments of Jesus, it means
abiding with him in the Father who, in him, so loves us that he
abides with us. In this new covenant the certitude that our petitions
will be heard is founded on the prayer of Jesus.