Daily Reflection – 1/9/19
After the five thousand had eaten and were satisfied, Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side toward Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And when he had taken leave of them, he went off to the mountain to pray. When it was evening, the boat was far out on the sea and he was alone on shore. Then he saw that they were tossed about while rowing, for the wind was against them. About the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them. But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out. They had all seen him and were terrified. But at once he spoke with them, “Take courage, it is I, do not be afraid!” He got into the boat with them and the wind died down. They were completely astounded. They had not understood the incident of the loaves. On the contrary, their hearts were hardened.( Mark 6:45-52)
Today’s scripture tells how Jesus, after dismissing the apostles and the crowd, goes off by himself to pray. His whole life has been a constant dialogue with the Father, and yet, he chooses to go to the hillside to pray. And what about us? How do we pray? More often than not the pace of our worldly life and the seeking of gratification become a serious obstacle for our spiritual life. And we forget that it is as equally important to “feed” our soul, as it is to feed our body. Nor is it possible to maintain a prayerful spirit when we beg for help only in times of trouble.
Finding room and time for prayer requires a yearning within us to meet God with the unshakable conviction that nobody and nothing can replace him. Without this longing to communicate with God, our prayer easily drifts into a soliloquy. We are also easily distracted during prayer, our hearts and minds invaded by all kind of thoughts and feelings. Praying is not like chatting but rather a simple elated encounter with Love. It is our ongoing relationship with God: the silent communication between me, the poor one who needs everything, and “You”, the transcendent provider of all.
Prayer and Christian life are inseparable. One of the ancient Church Fathers reminds us that: “Only he who joins prayer to deeds and deeds to prayer, prays unceasingly. Only in this way can we understand what it means to pray constantly” We must indeed pray without stop to sanctify our deeds and join them to our prayer. The continuous dialogue Jesus offers us in prayer not only soothes our spirit but bring us to realize that prayer is the breath of God’s love. If we do not breathe, we die; if we do not pray, we die spiritually.
Prayer of The Day
Lord, I see in you how to live life with the Spirit as my foundation, as the rock that permits me to walk through any troubled moment with peace and joyful abandonment to your will. Gratefully I put all my trust in you and offer all my meager love in return.
Walking with Christ permits us to conquer the waves that wish to overwhelm us. Contact with him in prayer helps us to find solid ground in the midst of quicksand. The conquering Christ reminds us that no evil is stronger than he, that there is no sin or temptation that cannot be put behind us, and that there is no setback in health or business or disappointment in a loved one that cannot ultimately become a new good when we walk in cadence with Christ.