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Lezingen: Wijsheid 2,12.17-20, Jacobus 3,16-4,3 en Marcus 9,30-37

Dear sisters and brothers,
When I was student I often went to the movies. Never I went alone, always with friends. In 1992 my study was over and I was ordained priest. So I was too busy to visit the cinema. But then the movie ‘The Titanic’ came out and something within me said to me: ‘You must see it!’ And so I went to this movie, for the first time together with my parents.

For me this movie was nearly unbearable. With all the visitors of the cinema you are the only one knowing the end of the movie or – better – knowing the end of the Titanic. The people of that time was told the ship was unsinkable. So the passengers and crew made pleasure there and were without any sorrow. At the end of the movie the Titanic has sunk. Many, many of the passengers are drowned and are floating in the ocean. Then there’s a sailor, who has survived the disaster on a lifeboat. He is shining with a lamp on the water of the sea, looking for survivors. He is shouting: ‘Can anyone hear me?’ He is hoping somebody will give him a sign of life.

‘Can anyone hear me?’ Automatically I thought to this shouting sailorman, when I prepared myself for this Holy Mass and I read the second reading from the letter of St. James. At the end of this second reading St. James is talking about praying. We don’t know the addressees of his letter, but St. James is full of reproaches about them: they’re not praying, and when they’re praying they do it badly, just for their own sake.

St. James writing about prayer prompts me to preach about what it is: praying. What are we doing, when we are praying? First I want to say something about why people pray. I suppose just because that. We want to be heard! It’s terrible for us, human beings, when there is nobody who is listening to us. Sometimes I met them: people who never are being heard. Nobody has ever really listened to them, and then it’s a blessing when they meet somebody who opens his ears and his heart…

‘Can anyone hear me?’ Our deepest thoughts, our deepest experiences and our deepest feelings: Is somebody on this earth able to search them really? ‘Can anyone hear me?’ Maybe this is what we first say, when we want to go praying: ‘Is there anyone, and if you are there, and if you are God, do you want to take a moment for me, because I want to be heard!’
    Dear sisters and brothers: praying is not the whole of Christian life, but it’s an important part of it. For many of us it’s difficult to pray. We don’t feel any contact with heaven or we don’t know what to say to God. Maybe we are very disappointed about praying because God hasn’t granted what we asked Him in our prayers.

First of all to pray is this: you’re standing in the relationship between God and you and you want to experience that relationship. But then you say: it’s so difficult for me to find the right words in my prayers. Never mind! God isn’t interested in your right words, God isn’t interested in your beautiful words, God isn’t interested in your words, God is interested in …you, because you are his beloved child.

When you can’t find any words in your prayers, than it’s enough to be silent for Him. In the silence of your heart God is present, as Christ is present in the Blessed Sacrament in the tabernacle. Your heart, your life is also a tabernacle. There, in the silence of your heart can you meet God Himself.

AMEN.

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