A reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to Timothy 2:1-8
Beloved: First of all, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth. For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as ransom for all. This was the testimony at the proper time. For this I was appointed preacher and Apostle (I am speaking the truth, I am not lying), teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. It is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.
REFLECTION: " pray, lifting up holy hands"
St Paul gives salient advice, " I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone". Even the centurion in today's gospel prayed and petitioned for the healing of his servant and then he thanked (he in essence said, just say the word and I know he will be healed). His faith was his thanksgiving because he did not say "if you do" or " thank you for when it happens" but he says I know he will be healed (so I thank you now).
We are advised to pray with humility in complete surrender to God and His will~ Always thanking Him for His answer. Our lifting up our hands with no blemish is a sign of complete surrender--we have given up food, gossiping, anger, envy, evil-- and present ourselves in prayer as unblemished alms or sacrifices. Fast and empty yourself of the heavy load of sin, pray and speak with God for your needs through the intercession of Jesus, and always, always thank Him for the answer He will give you--Yes, No or Not Now. But we continue with our supplications in faith.
We don't see many people praying with upraised hands. Many respectfully bow their heads in worship of our God, our Father. Perhaps, we should take on the posture of that which we are doing--praying, praising and surrendering to God's will in faith as Jesus did on the Cross. During Mass, the bloodless sacrifice of Jesus, may we place our hands in the nailed down uplifted hands of Jesus and" pray, lifting up holy hands". Let Jesus introduce you to His Father.