Daily Reflection – 9/10/19
Jesus departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. And he came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground. A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured. Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all .(Luke 6: 12-19)
Luke makes special mention of the personal prayer of Jesus at all the important events in his life, and so Luke portrays Jesus as praying before his baptism, before his temptation, after a hard day’s work of preaching, teaching and healing and just before his choice of the Twelve. Jesus knows that even though humans will be weak and fail, even though they will deny and betray him again and again, he would still want them to collaborate with him in bringing about the kingdom.
Our Scripture reading is a beautiful story that moves from night to morning to afternoon. Jesus spent the night alone in prayer and meditation with God. In the morning, He gathered His apostles around Him and formed a community. In the afternoon, with His apostles, He went out and preached the Word and healed the sick.
Notice the order – from prayer to community to ministry.
So often we want to do things in the opposite order. If something doesn’t work, we go to others and ask for their help. And, if that doesn’t work, then we start praying.
But the order that Jesus teaches us is the reverse. It begins by being alone with God in prayer and meditation; then it creates a fellowship, a community of people who support us; and finally this community goes out together to heal and to proclaim good news.
Prayer, community, and ministry. That is the pattern by which God acts and speaks through us. That is the pattern God uses to make great things happen. That is the pattern through which we become the hands and mouths of God.
Prayer of The Day
Holy and loving Father, stir my heart with a deeper yearning for prayer. I need your guidance every day, so please dear Lord, bless me with the discipline of daily fervent prayer. Particularly in those times when I face very hard decisions, have your Holy Spirit stir my spirit with a longing to come into your presence and find my guidance and peace in you. In Jesus’ name, and because of Jesus’ example, I pray. Amen.
The Lord did not find friends the day he consecrated them Apostles. He made them his friends. He opened their hearts to the Father’s heart. He opened their minds to God’s holy Will. He strengthened their faith with the Holy Spirit. He made them his friends. He entrusted to them the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven. He entrusted to them the keys of salvation. He shared with them his love, mercy and compassion. He spilled his blood for them so that they would learn to spill their blood for us. This is the life of Christ. This is the life of the Apostles. This is our life as Christians. To open our hearts to the word of God. To learn that our best friend is Jesus Christ. To give ourselves to Him as did His apostles. This is our faith. This should be our life.