Today we heard the beautiful prayer of Jesus to his Father as he prepares to ascend into heaven. He asks first that his Father glorify him, just as he gave him authority over all people, so that he might give eternal life to all who God had given to him. That prayer is for us, for all who have come to believe in Jesus Christ. Jesus understands he is ascending from this earth; all part of God’s plan, but his concern remains our salvation. He reminds his Father that he has done all he asked him to do, that the people he was called to save now have all they need for salvation. He has taught them well and then he tells his Father, “I pray for them.”
How incredible to know that Jesus prays for us! Jesus, who taught us to pray, also prays. This gospel reminds us of our need to be in communication with God, for Jesus has shown us the way. We need to be in a relationship with God;
Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for our souls and our salvation depend on it! It is not possible to be in relationship to another without communicating with that person. How often do you pray? What kind of prayer do you say? Remembering that prayer is “talking to or listening to” God provides unlimited opportunity in how and where we pray. You might enjoy the outdoors and find that time spent outside helps you to connect to God, to appreciate all of creation as you give honor, thanks and praise to God. You may have a routine of daily prayer in which you carve out a time and a place that gives you time alone with God. Or perhaps you are closest to God in prayer when you are in the church or at a Mass. There are some stereotype images about praying, you know them; down on your knees, perhaps by your bed each morning or evening, beginning always with the Sign of the Cross and then a litany of Our
Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, Apostle’s Creed, Act of Contrition and perhaps even a rosary. These are beautiful prayers and gestures, but it is important to know that you need not kneel always to pray, you need not always be in quiet place or alone. Many people, especially our youth, young parents or those who are at work daily find joy in “praying their day.” One can pray their day by noticing the beauty of creation that changes hour to hour, or one can pray for the people they encounter; on their drive to work, in the line at the grocery store, their bus driver, their teacher, the custodian, or the people seated in the waiting room at a doctor’s office. I have a friend who prays the newspaper each day, speaking to God about all the people in the world that need assistance or guidance.
Praying is conversation with God. Share your day and your life experience with him. He wants to hear from you. Tell him how you are feeling. He understands you more than anyone one can – he created you! If you are struggling, talk it out. If you are angry, tell him why. If you are lonely or afraid share that too. Then and most importantly –
LISTEN! Listen to how God responds to you. Stop with words and emotions and open yourself to receive his grace. God is with you. God is there for every person, we need only communicate with him! In prayer, routine or simple conversation, we will find love, acceptance, companionship and the ultimate guide for our lives. Gift yourself with prayer that you might continue to grow in wisdom, age and the grace of God our Father! Lord, hear our prayer.
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC