27th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sunday, October 6, 2019
Fr. Kyle
Homily transcription: 

Do our prayers make any difference? Do our prayers actually do anything?  The prophet Habakkuk is calling God out in our first reading with some strong words.  “How long, O Lord?  I cry for help but you do not listen!  I cry out to you, but you do not intervene.”  One view of prayer is that God is like a magic genie who grants our prayers like they are wishes.  That’s not a great understanding of God.  Another view is that prayer is more about our hearts being changed to accept God’s will.  These two views assume that the only possibilities of prayer are that God changes His mind, or we change ours.  We are not just pieces in God’s cosmic machine.  We are beloved sons and daughters called to participate in God’s goodness. It is about much more than God getting his way or we getting ours.  Let me use an analogy that I stole from Bishop Barron.

Let’s say that a loving father was sitting down with his two children for dinner.  More than anything, the loving father wants his kids to be good people when they grow up.  And so he decides that, if the kids ask nicely, they can get a piece of cake.  One kid asks nicely and the other does not so one got cake and the other didn’t.  From the kids perspective, it is all about the cake.  The father must love the one kid more because they got their request and the other did not.  But from the father’s perspective, it is about so much more than cake.  It is about being a good person.  It is not about the father changing his mind of giving the cake or the kids changing their minds about the cake. In fact, it is not about cake at all.  The father is inviting his kids into so much more than just cake.  He is inviting them to a life of goodness and beauty.  And the same is true with us.

Jesus invites us to have faith the size of a mustard seed.  Usually when we pray, we are dwelling on one small particular thing.  Small like a mustard seed.  But God knows the full potential of that small thing even if we cannot see it.  He invites us to have faith that this little thing in our life, even in its pain and challenges, has great potential. 


Our prayers aren’t altering the Divine Plan. Our prayers are for having the faith to participate in God’s plan.  May we have the courage to live with that faith.