Readings for Friday January 8, 2009
First Reading: 1 John 5:5-13
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 147
Gospel: Luke 5:12-16
The report about him spread all the more, and great crowds assembled to listen to him and to be cured of their ailments, but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray. (Lk 5:15-16)
In today's gospel reading, as in other readings as well, we see that the more popular Jesus becomes, the more He goes off to pray. I believe that one of the reasons for this is that Jesus is setting an example for all of us. He is showing us the importance of prayer, if He who is God made it a priority, shouldn't we be making it just as much of a priority?
Would you expect a good relationship with your parents, children, brothers, sisters, or friends if you hardly ever talked with them? Or what if you only called to ask for something. This seems to be how many of our own prayer lives go. Most people (if they do "pray") seem to only come to God when things are going wrong or to ask Him to do something. Unfortunately, if this is our approach to prayer and our relationship with our Father in heaven, then we should not expect that relationship to be fruitful.
Jesus made prayer a priority in His life here on earth, we should also be making it a priority in ours as well. In today's gospel, we read that Jesus went off to deserted places to pray. He went off to be alone with the Father, He went off to find a quiet area where He could focus and concentrate on prayer. Now, I am not suggesting that in order for us to pray we need to run off to a deserted place, but it is important for us to try and find a quiet area where we can focus and concentrate on prayer. I understand that it can be hard for us to find quiet areas or time for prayer. One of my favorite times for prayer and for quiet is in the morning, before my wife and little girl wake up. It is during the morning that I can just have quiet time alone with my Creator. Now, in order to have this time in the morning it does involved me getting up before everyone else and before I need to get ready for work, but I can tell you that it is so worth it. I have since come to really value my mornings and this time for prayer and reflection. I pray that each of you will be able to find that place of solitude each day where it can be just you and God.
Pray is very necessary if we are to have a good thriving relationship with God, may we never take for granted the importance of prayer.
Father above, we thank you for this day. Lord, help us to make you a priority each and every day. Lord, we thank you and praise you so much for our lives and for all that we are. Lord, you alone know what is best for us and we pray that your will be done. We pray for all those in need of conversion, that they may find their life in you. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.