Lord Jesus, you revealed to Peter, James and John a glimpse of your future glory in order to strengthen them for the cross. I know that you also wish to strengthen me with your presence so that I may carry my cross well and one day see you one day face-to-face. I entrust myself to you now through this prayer, seeking to love you with all my mind, heart, soul and strength.
Lord, show me your face.
1. Man’s Desire
Jesus spends much time in union with his Father through prayer. Even in today's Gospel passage he climbs the mountain to pray, as is his custom. It is an attitude that reflects man’s desire to be in contact and in union with the divine. There must have been something truly awesome in how Our Lord prayed, for his apostles ask him to teach them. They want the same intimacy they see that Jesus has with the Father. Can I truly say that I ardently long for a greater intimacy with Christ? Do I believe confidently that anyone who seeks God with a sincere heart will find him? How do we grow in this relationship with God? How pleasing it is to God the Father when we, his children, turn to him in earnest, filial prayer?
2. Climbing the Mountain of Prayer:
We can satisfy this desire by climbing the mountain. The image of the “holy mountain” is found throughout the Scriptures from Abraham to Moses, and it is often present in Jesus’ public ministry as we witness in the Gospels. The mountain is a physical place, but it also represents for us our seeking God’s face in prayer. Our prayer is the ascent of this “holy mountain” to an encounter with our Father. Am I prepared to make this ascent, knowing this involves setbacks and dryness along the way? The Catholic Catechism describes prayer as a battle, “Against whom?
Against ourselves and against the wiles of the tempter who does all he can to turn man away from prayer, away from union with God. We pray as we live, because we live as we pray…". Am I ready to make an effort of ever climbing ever upwards through prayer? Do I live as I pray, and am I satisfied with that kind of praying and living?
3. The Tools
Every good mountain climber has the tools he needs to make the ascent. We, too, have the tools we need. First, we have the Gospels themselves, which give us a clear picture of Jesus. “He who has seen me has seen the Father…” (John 14:9).
Let us meditate frequently on them and ask Our Lord to reveal himself to us through them. Second, we have the sacraments, especially Penance and the Eucharist. In the former, we encounter God’s merciful love lavished upon us, restoring us to our filial relationship with him. In the latter, we receive Love himself, Jesus Christ, who has remained in the sacrament so that we could be united with him. Is my prayer well grounded in a fervent sacramental life?
Conversation with Christ:
Jesus, thank you for remaining with us in the Eucharist. It is here especially where I can go to seek your face, to know you more intimately and to grow in my love for you. Increase my love for you that I may; may I return love for love.
Today I will take at least five minutes of my time to seek Our Lord in prayer, asking his grace for my needs and the needs of all my loved ones.
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