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How Do the James Webb Space Telescope Images Remind Us to Pray?

Updated: Oct 4, 2022

The recently launched James Webb Space Telescope is sending back incredible images of galaxies that have never been seen in such detail before. Recently released was an image of a star-forming region NGC 3324 in the Carina Nebula that will help scientists learn about the birth of stars. When we realize the breadth of our universe, in existence for billions of years, we may feel small like just a speck in time and history. It’s no wonder we use words such as “All-Powerful” and “Eternal” to describe our God.

Yet in today’s Gospel from Luke 11:1-13, Jesus invites us to call God “Our Father” in the Lord’s Prayer. Amazingly, the God who made the heavens and earth, all creatures and created things, beckons us to have a personal relationship with God, who is as caring and nurturing as a good father and mother are to us. The beginning of the Lord’s Prayer calls us to be intimate with God since, despite being but a speck in the world, we matter to God, no pun intended, as God listen to our pleas.

Another section of the Lord’s Prayer calls us to ask for our daily bread. While there may be an allusion to receiving the Eucharist, Christ’s divine presence, it mostly means we should confidently present our needs to God. Abraham did so as he repeatedly invoked God’s mercy on the innocent people who lived in Sodom and Gomorrah. We are asked to focus only on what we need this day, one day at a time. How many times do we fixate on what could have been yesterday or what we will need tomorrow without living in the present moment? What we need daily will certainly change, from needing patience and perseverance, to seeking God’s love and mercy. Instead of rushing through the Lord’s Prayer, let us think beforehand for the one thing we need this day, and, like Abraham, invoke the Lord with boldness and persistence.

We pray for God’s kingdom to reign – it is absent when war, persecution, injustice and greed color our world but thrives when we treat one another with the Golden Rule and welcome justice and peace into our hearts. The Lord’s Prayer ends by being calling us to be vigilant in rooting out evil from our hearts as we seek to be children of the light. May we remember, though but a speck in God’s creation, we are to trust that God does care for us and listens to our prayers.

Image by Adobe Stock

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