September 9, 2008
Tuesday of the Twenty-Third Week in Ordinary Time
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: Lord, thank you for this time to be with you. Help me to put aside all distractions and give myself to you. I need your strength and your direction in my life. Speak Lord, your servant is listening.
Petition: Lord, grant that I may be convinced of the need and importance of prayer in my daily life.
1. Jesus Spent the Night in Prayer
Jesus drew apart from the crowd and went up a mountain to pray. He wanted to be alone with his Father. Jesus shows by his example the importance of prayer. He prays before the important moments in his life – here, the selection of the men who would become his apostles. It shows as well the importance of this decision. These men would continue his mission on earth and form the nucleus of the Church. Peter would be his first vicar on earth. What are the important decisions in my life? How often do I turn to God and seek his direction and help?
2. They Came to Hear Him and to be Healed of Their Diseases
Luke mentions that a great crowd of disciples and people from the region came to hear Jesus and be cured of their diseases. We think of the masses of people today who need to hear the Word of God. There is a great hunger, but the problem is that there are so many sounds and noises competing out there in people’s lives. There is also the cultural pressure on us to keep our religion to ourselves. Religion is considered a purely private matter, and to share one’s faith with others is to be judgmental and critical. We need to meditate on the great need that people have for Christ’s message and to think creatively how best to communicate that message to them.
3. Inner Healing
Everyone sought to touch him. They wanted more than simply to listen to his words and to be healed at a distance. They wanted to touch him; they sought intimacy with him. Jesus was attractive, and people were drawn to him. We find intimacy in prayer and meditation. We touch him through the sacraments. God thirsts for our friendship. He seeks us much more than we seek him. In finding him, we find everything we need to satisfy our hearts.
Dialogue with Christ: Christ, help me to believe that you are present and very near to me. You are within me, and your Spirit guides my steps. Increase my faith so that I can see you also in the midst of difficulties and tribulations.
Resolution: I will make an Eucharistic visit or spiritual communion for those working in the missions.
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