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Monday, September 10, 2012

Praying all Night

Let us not forget to pray today for all those impacted by the horror of September 11, 2001.

"Jesus departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God." Lk 6:12

It is a perennial question to ask what Jesus prayed about when he spent the night in prayer. The gospels offer us some hints about this. We know he pleaded with his father to take the terrible burden of the cross from him, and asked God to protect his disciples, but there is little information about the nature of his night prayer.

Today's gospel suggests that Jesus' prayer during the night was a prayer of discernment, a time of sifting through which of his followers should be apostles and leaders. It was an important and difficult time, and his choices surprise us. Knowing he would be judged harshly, we expect him to seek strong, well known Jews to walk with him, but he picks ordinary people to live and articulate the message he received from his Father. It is no different today.

Most of us learn about the gospel from everyday people. It is not the most insightful, the most powerful or the most well known people who help us understand the Good News. It is the people we meet everyday at the market, in church or at a ballgame. Rarely eloquent, the people who live the gospel transparently in their everyday lives show us a face of God that moves us to change and live for others.

Today, pray for the strength to live the gospel in an ordinary way, and let God do the rest.

From whom have you learned most about a gospel life?


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