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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

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Isaiah 55:10-11
Psalm 34:4-7, 16-19
Matthew 6:7-15

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babbling prayer

“In your prayers do not babble as the pagans do.” —Matthew 6:7, JB

In today’s Gospel, it’s not the babbling that Jesus is emphasizing, but babbling like the pagans (Mt 6:7). As a father, it was a delight to hear my infants happily babble. Likewise, our Father in heaven loves to hear His children babbling — if it is babbling in faith, hope, and love. Jesus reveals to us that the heavenly Father does not want His children to babble as the pagans do — who “think they will win a hearing by the sheer multiplication of words” (Mt 6:7).

As a father, I loved to hear my children communicate with me. The heavenly Father loves His children infinitely more than any human parent loves their children. Even though our heavenly Father knows all we need before we ask Him (Mt 6:8), He still wants us to ask, as Jesus makes clear (Mt 7:7).

What the Father does not want is human babbling which leads to pride. The earliest humans were so filled with pride that their very city was “called Babel” (Gn 11:9). In long vocal prayers or repetitive prayers like the Rosary, it’s important that we pray like a loving child to our Father, rather than reciting “long prayers for appearance’ sake” (Mk 12:40).

Many love to sit beside a babbling brook. Spouses love to hear their beloved repeat the endearing words, “I love you.” These are soothing, joyful sounds. The priest’s prayers at Mass are repeated day after day, yet they express perfectly the love of Jesus’ sacrifice. This is the kind of babbling that the Father loves. Bring joy to the Father by your loving babble.

Prayer:  Father, Abba, may my prayers be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear.

Promise:  “I sought the Lord, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” —Ps 34:5

Praise:  Miranda offers up her fasting for those struggling with addiction.

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

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