Our psalm reads: “Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!” Blessed indeed
I’ve been thinking about prayer in relation to our readings. Partly this is because I received in my email a great quote this week, and I edit it a touch: Prayer is the soil in which saints grow. How true
In our first reading from Acts we hear about two guys, Peter and John, who had just been on a journey to the temple at the 3:00 hour of prayer. They happen upon this crippled man. Peter prays over him–and all the sudden the crippled man isn’t crippled anymore. Now people see this happen, and they begin to praise PETER…and then Peter launches into a speech. We hear a part of it today. He says, “it wasn’t me! It was Jesus. I’m just a sinner like you.” What strength Peter and John had–it was from prayer. It was prayer that gave them the power, the grace to do all they did.
Our gospel tells us about the two men after their beautiful experience on the road to Emmaus. They “recounted” the experience. They meditated on it, contemplated it….and Jesus “opened their minds.” They prayed about it all. And we don’t know a lot of what happens to these two men, but we know they go back to Jerusalem and spread the faith….all because they prayed.
In both cases we see this—-Prayer….then mission.
Prayer comes first. I’m reading through Pope Francis’ new exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate, the third one he’s written to date. Listen to what he says: “You too need to see the entirety of your life as a mission. Try to do so by listening to God in prayer.” Pope Francis is saying that our life is a mission….we’re all here for a reason, or 10,000 reasons…we simply need to pray to figure it out! PRAYER then mission.
Prayer makes saints. Because prayer helps us to know our mission and gives us the strength to do it. Otherwise we’re operating on our own strength and doing what we want. Better rely on God’s strength and do what he wants. Prayer makes all that possible
True for us as indivudals….true for families….true for churches……prayer is the soil in which saints grow
God can do a lot with a little–a common theme in our faith. We hear of the boy today with two fish and a few loaves of bread, and how that feeds thousands. It may seem like your Hail Mary doesn’t do much, or that your five dollars at Mass doesn’t go far. But God does amazing things with our little.
“No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man.” So says Jesus! Jesus alone goes to heaven–can go to heaven. We can go to heaven only inasmuch as we remain in him, in his risen body. He is the resurrection. We cannot achieve our own salvation. We get to heaven—if we are faithful–because we are caught up in the life of the risen Lord. Best to stay in JEsus!!
“The wind blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes; so it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” So says Jesus. Beautiful…how the Holy Spirit has a way of blowing us around, blowing us where we need to be.
Today’s first reading: “There was no needy person among them, for those who owned property or houses would sell them,bring the proceeds of the sale, and put them at the feet of the Apostles, and they were distributed to each according to need.” WOw! The beauty of the early church. Everyone was generous and that generosity was so great that there was no needy person among the people. Amazing the power of generosity.
Today we celebrate the Annunciation, the moment when the Lord God took flesh on earth. He did so in the womb of Blessed Mother. “The word became flesh — HERE” reads a sign in the holy land at the church of the annunciation, the church built on that very place where the miracle we celebrate today took place. The word becomes flesh in our daily lives, too….at Mass in a most wonderful way, but also in other ways. The word became flesh — HERE….perhaps that sign should be in every Catholic home.