Tuesday of the Twenty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
Father Patrick Butler, LC
Luke 6: 12-19
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.
Introductory Prayer: God the Father, thank you for the gift of creation, including my own life. God the Son, thank you for redeeming me at the price of your own Body and Blood. God the Holy Spirit, thank you for being the sweet guest of my soul, enlightening my mind, strengthening my spirit and kindling the fire of your love in my heart.
Petition: Call me to you, Lord Jesus, and remind me of my personal mission.
- A Place and a Time for Prayer: Frequently the Gospel tells me that Jesus prayed to his Father. What was his prayer like? First, he sought out a place that is appropriate for praying. Secondly, he dedicated a significant amount of time to prayer. I can see him climbing a mountain in order to spend an entire night in prayer. I can certainly learn from my Lord’s example. Imitating him, my prayer life can be enriched.
- A Special Calling: Perhaps Jesus’ prayer is a bit longer than usual on this occasion. When there is an important decision to be made, he consults his Father to know his will. He does not improvise when calling twelve of his followers to be his apostles, his “sent ones,” his representatives. When Jesus calls me to do a special mission for his Kingdom, he also ensures that it accords with the eternal plan of the Father.
- A Channel for God’s Grace: Having spent the night in prayer, Jesus has prepared himself to give generously of himself the following day. United to his Father, the source of all good, his actions channel this goodness towards those who are enslaved to evil spirits or in need of divine healing. Of course, Jesus is God, and he has that power in himself by his own right. However, he wants to give me an example of how to be a branch united to the vine, in order to produce fruit that will last.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, I do not know how to pray as I ought. Teach me how to pray: to prepare a place and to set aside some time exclusively for prayer. So often I act without praying, relying only on my own ingenuity and intelligence. Make me see that I need your wisdom. Help me to ensure, through prayer, that my actions are conformed to your will.
Resolution: I will strive to offer at least one spontaneous prayer to God today, amid the activities of my daily life.