Wednesday, May 16, 2018

“Seekers, Praying and Believing” by Beth DeCristofaro

“Seekers, Praying and Believing” by Beth DeCristofaro

The following night the Lord stood by (Paul) and said, "Take courage. For just as you have borne witness to my cause in Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness in Rome." (Acts 23:11)

Lifting up his eyes to heaven, Jesus prayed saying: "I pray not only for these, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us…” (John 17:20-21)

(Pause here.  What prayer comes to your heart after reading from Acts, John and St. John of the Cross?  Share it, perhaps aloud, with your Lord and God)

Many of us, on our initial Cursillo weekend experience, found it disconcerting to be asked to pray in unrehearsed fashion, out loud, in front of others.  Even as a Catholic who attended Catholic school from K through 8, I was taught to join in scripted prayer with others or silently attend to my own dialog with God.  Praying off the cuff was not even imagined.  In my role as Chaplain, I became much more comfortable, however, as prayer with people who are in crisis or are sick necessitate impromptu response to their needs, raising up a fear or a pain for example as well as sharing the soothing beauty of a Hail Mary or Our Father.  It called for me to be very much in the present in order to stand before God on their behalf. Jesus modeled every day of his ministry being in the presence of God and in the present with others.

Jesus stands comfortably in the presence of His Father and speaks personally to God.  By praying aloud, he also continues to instruct the disciples.  He speaks of the mystery we have come to know as the Trinity.  He outlines again the great sacrifice and glory he would soon face as well as the sacrifices that his followers will face if we choose to continue to glorify him.  And, incredibly, he tells us again that in choosing him we are choosing to be one with the God of our Fathers, the God of all Creation because God chose us before the foundation of the world to be with the Son.  We are invited into a family where speaking truth and being with is vital to who we are – brothers and sisters of Jesus.

How are we intentionally working on being one with Jesus and each other?  We are so divided right now but the Body of Christ requires that we put the unity of being with God before all other small divisions.  What divides me from others and from Jesus?  Is my prayer impromptu enough to reveal myself to him in love, gratitude and a spirit of reconciliation? 

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