Matthew's Gospel today has Jesus instructing us on how to address His Father in prayer. The priest who celebrated the Mass I managed (barely) to get to expounded in a way I had not heard before. When we pray "Thy Will be done", are we saying we give up all hope of things improving in our lives, of illness being cured, jobs being found, children converting and returning to the church? Are we telling God that we will willingly wallow in our misery with no hope of things improving? Of course not.
Trusting in the Lord and accepting the trials He desires to send us is one thing. Throwing up our hands in despair is another. Sometimes I think that the further away He seems, the closer the Lord really is. Did He not cry out to His Father from His agony on the cross?
Jesus does not ask us to bear anything He Himself did not bear on Calvary, including abandonment. St. Therese often talked about Jesus "hiding His face, as it were" when He sends us some particularly painful trial. She said He is like a mother who must allow her child to suffer through a painful remedy in order for its life to be saved.
The Will of the Father is all about our salvation. It's not always easy to grasp the love in this simple truth but it's there for us just the same, the one constant hope in our sometimes seemingly hopeless lives.
This is also the Gospel where Jesus pokes fun, if you will, at the gentiles who love to babble. I was driving to work the other day, "babbling" the Divine Mercy Chaplet. When I caught myself in my seemingly growing distracted state, I thought of just quitting, but then I thought that God saw my effort, by not listening to music or something else on the radio, and that was enough for Him. We never know what merit our prayer and sacrifice might obtain for ourselves or the people on whose behalf we pray, and it's why we should never give up.