Christmas Tide (9th January, 2019)
First Reading: 1 Jn 4:11-18
Gospel: Mk 6:45-52
Today the Gospel brings out an important event in the life of Jesus. In fact, it is sandwiched between two miracles of Jesus, i.e., feeding the multitude and calming the storm at sea. It is obvious that for Jesus, prayer was both an act of thanksgiving for what was done as well as to carry on the will of God at every moment. Many events in Jesus show the importance Jesus adduced to prayer in his ministry. Some of them are prayer at baptism in Jordan (Lk 3:21), at the beginning of Galilean ministry (Mk 1:35), at transfiguration (Lk 9:18-20), before teaching the disciples to pray (Lk 11:1), at raising of Lazarus (Jn 11:41-42), at the hour of trial (Jn 12:37) and at Last supper (Mt 26:26-29).
Jesus is said to have frequent withdrawal to secluded places for prayer (Lk 5:16). It is as if there is natural gravity in Him to have communion with His heavenly father. It is the natural yearning for being in solitude and delight he wishes to receive from His Father (Lk 9:18). Many instances prove that he takes decisions after spending the whole night in prayer (Lk 6:12). It is in the moment of prayer that transfiguration takes place (Lk 9:29).
His prayer reveals his intimacy with God the Father. So He calls Him ‘Abba’ (Father). So prayers for him were expressions of His close relationship with His father. It was so both in joy and sorrow especially when He was in deep anguish in the Gethsemane garden at the Cross in Golgotha. He united Himself to His father for the salvation of human beings. The prayers for him are ought to be said frequently and persistently as he narrates so in parable of importunate friend looking for bread in the middle of the night (Lk 11:5-9) or that of unjust judge (Lk 18:1-8).
Jesus thus in today’s Gospel point out the need of prayer at every moment of our life not for our well being alone but also for others especially for those who many not love us and we need to do so frequently without fail. If we fulfill His will, our prayers will be surely heard. Amen.