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Chaplain’s Corner June 14th

Chaplain's Corner - St Mark's Gospel - Reflection

In St Mark’s Gospel, Jesus says:

Have faith in God.  Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.  Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.  (Mark 11:23-24)

I enjoyed joining Year 4 this week for their pupil-led prayer.  As part of their reflection, the pupils leading the time asked their peers to think about what ‘prayer’ is.  The pupils gave some great answers, about conversation with God, an opportunity to seek forgiveness, and a time to share anything that we are concerned about.

The question ‘what is prayer?’ also gave pupils the opportunity to think about the difference between ‘prayer’ and ‘hope’.  To say, ‘I hope that there will be peace in the world’ is not quite the same as saying, ‘I pray that there will be peace in the world.’

To have hope is important.  It means we can look forward and feel positive about the future.  Hope, though, does involve an element of doubt.  It does involve an acceptance that what we hope for may happen, but it may not.

Jesus’ words tell us that genuine prayer from a position of faith has no such element of doubt.  Whatever the prayer intention, it will come to pass; it will be done.

Elsewhere in Mark’s Gospel there are a number of occasions where Jesus picks people up on their lack of faith.  In fact it is his own disciples, those who thought that they knew him best, who Jesus most often rebukes for lack of faith or failure of understanding.  How hard it is to pray as one ‘who does not doubt in his heart.’  Yet this is the key to turning hope into certainty – growing in faith, and in willingness and desire to place absolute trust in God.

St Jeanne de Lestonnac … pray for us.

Mary, Mother of God, Notre Dame … pray for us.

Mr George, Schoool Chaplain