"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." Lk 6:12
How should believers make decisions? That is the question posed by today's Gospel. Jesus, our model for all things Christian, says little directly about this, but offers us a clear example. By going to a mountain and spending the entire night in prayer before choosing the apostles, Jesus challenges us to do the same. It is not so much that we can or ought to spend entire nights in prayer, but that we take time away from our everyday lives in order to discern what it is God wants us to be and do.
Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy, encouraged her sisters to pray beforehand about any decision they needed to make and insisted that every word of the rule they practiced was the fruit of prayer. But it is Catherine's image of prayer as a plant that continues to challenge us today. "Prayer is a plant, the seed of which must be nourished or it will die." Put another way, Jesus and Catherine might say: Water and feed the plants of your faith life with prayer if you expect them to grow.
When young people are making decisions about marriage, children and family we are tempted to surround them with gifts and money. Wouldn't it be better to hold them in prayer so that they will hear God calling them to transformation and service in whatever vocation they choose?
Today, spend ten minutes more than usual in prayer.
Has prayer with a help to you in making important decisions?