Commentary on the Gospel of
Plasticity of Prayer
It was evening. A couple of parishioners were at the presbytery, chatting away with two priests. As the time for the community prayers approached, one of the priests got up and said, “Nice talking to you. But I need to go.” Though he didn’t mention the reason, the parishioners understood, and one of them said, “Oh, fathers, it must be time for your prayers. Then we should also get going.” But the second priest cut in and said, “No, no, that is alright. We can pray some other time also. Talking to you is also prayer.” And the friendly chat continued without interruption. Contrast the sentiments in the above anecdote with the words of Peter on the non-negotiability of prayer: “It is not right, that we should neglect the word of God…We shall give ourselves to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.” In this difference in approach to prayer between the above two anecdotes, you may discover a partial cause to the crisis in ecclesial leadership today.