May 19, 2008

We Got to Pray Just to Make it Today

(FYI - I think that's the first rap song reference on this blog.)

Today's gospel reading feels like a re-enactment of Moses coming down from the Mount, only this time it's Jesus after the Transfiguration.

Moses was covered in glory, his hair white, Jesus too was covered in glory, wearing clothing whiter than any earthly bleacher could make.

But there's a difference when they come down the mountain. In the OT, the people committing sins of comission by doing what God asked them not to do, that is to carve idols. In the NT, there are sins of omission - lacking faith and not praying.

St. Alphonsus Liguori so strongly emphasizes prayer in this book that it's as if no one really recommended it before. (Although admittedly my spiritual reading list is not that extensive.)

The Word Among Us meditation for today is also helpful:
Susie was almost late for a job interview where punctuality was a must. As she pulled into the parking lot, she could see it was filled. Panicking, she prayed, “Lord, please help me find a parking spot.” As she rounded the corner, right in front of her was an empty space. She immediately prayed, “That’s okay, Lord; I found one myself.”
We may chuckle at this story, but it raises a good question: Why are we so quick to look for natural solutions and slow to look for the supernatural answers? Could it be a lack of trust in God? We read self-help books to cope with the challenges in life. We go to friends for advice on how to handle troublesome situations. We automatically call a doctor when a loved one gets sick. But we don’t think naturally about taking our challenges to Jesus, either for his intervention or for his help in persevering.

Isn’t this what happened to Jesus’ disciples when they were unable to heal the young man possessed with demons? It seems that they were relying on their own abilities instead of God’s power. Jesus told them that they were unsuccessful because “this kind can only come out through prayer” (Mark 9:29)—something they hadn’t done.

There are many reasons why we should pray, but one of the most important reasons is that we are not merely natural people. Created in the image and likeness of God, we have a spiritual dimension as well. We need to be in touch with that spiritual dimension of who we are in order to fulfill our whole person and to know the kind of peace and contentment that we all long for. Through prayer we can touch the Holy Spirit and his power in our lives, so that we are not left living as “mere mortals.” Do you believe that God’s Spirit can be a part of your life? Do you believe that you can experience his power to heal you, to lift you up, and to make you his instrument in this world? Seek Jesus in all parts of your life, and watch for the transformation that follows!

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