There once was a good man named Jacob who was struggling financially. He would pray every day to God, and he would say, “Lord, please let me win the lottery this week so I can have a better life for my family.” Each week the lottery would come and go, and Jacob would not win. After months of not winning the lottery, in his frustration he prayed, “Lord, I am a good and God-fearing man, and I am trying very hard to raise my family to know you. I have asked again and again to win the lottery. Why are you ignoring my prayers?” At that moment Jacob heard a voice from Heaven say, “Jacob.” Jacob answered, “Is that you Lord?” The voice answered, “Yes.” Jacob replied, “What do you ask of me Lord?” The Lord answered, “Jacob, buy a ticket.”
An old joke but yet, an excellent example of prayer and our relationship with God. Sometimes in prayer we want God to answer us in the way we want and not the way God chooses to answer. Sometimes God will remind us of the gifts and abilities he has already gifted us with to solve the problem or petition we have offered in prayer. The Israelites learned this in their battle against the Amalekites. He was with them as long as Moses arms were raised in prayer. This not only shows us the power of prayer, but also shows that there may be action on our own part needed. It is also a great example of the power of community prayer because it took Aaron and Hur to help Moses.
We come together in the greatest of community prayer today as we meet together here to celebrate the Eucharist. This powerful communal prayer is answered by God with the true presence of His Son with us today in that very Eucharist, the Bread of life. The thing is, the ticket to be here today is free. Salvation is offered by just being here.
May Jesus live in our hearts forever.