Today’s readings invite us into prayer, into relationship with God. Because relationships feel more natural when we know one another well, Sirach encourages us to know God better. In his wisdom, Sirach tells us what God is like: fair, open-minded, compassionate, and attentive. “The Lord will not delay,” he says. Knowing that God’s help comes right on time, whenever we need it, calms our hearts and helps us trust the Lord. In his second Letter to Timothy, Saint Paul demonstrates his own trust in God. Despite the grueling struggles Saint Paul has faced because of his Christian faith, he praises the Lord for rescuing him time and again. Today’s Gospel draws us close to Jesus too, revealing his special love for the poor and humble. As Jesus tells his parable about the prayer habits of a Pharisee and a tax collector, our hearts long to become as gentle as Christ’s.