Today’s Gospel: Luke 6, 12-16 – Sts. Simon & Jude
Jesus goes to the mountain to pray at key moments of his life. Today he does so before choosing his most intimate co-workers, the pillars of his future Church. It is not that the “mountain” is a few steps closer to God, but it is a place away from busy daily life. We can learn the power of prayer from him when we have to make important decisions in life: to discern religious life, to decide whom we are going to marry, to ponder a job change, to prepare for an operation, to decide on whether or where to move, to discern which school is best for our children.
But do not take this the wrong way. We don’t always have to go to a “mountain” to pray. Jesus prayed 24/7. He was always in contact with the Father. We can do the same thing by just feeling ourselves cupped in God’s hands while doing work at home, working at our job, studying in school, driving our cars, shopping, you name it.
God is a person we can interact with. If He were impersonal, then prayer would not make sense. God is also loving. If He were uncaring and distant, prayer wouldn’t serve a purpose. God is also wise and holy. He knows what is best for us. God supplies all our “needs,” but not all our “wants.” God is also all-powerful. Otherwise we would have no assurance that He could answer our prayers. “For nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37). And God is all-knowing. “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8). Yet, he wants to be asked, no matter whether we are on the mountain or in the valley of tears.
Where is my “mountain” that I can go to so I can be with God alone? What is my next upcoming key moment in life that I need to pray for? How do I pray when I have no time to pray?
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
Copyright 2016 Dr. Gerard M. Verschuuren
Dr. Gerard M. Verschuuren is a human geneticist and philosopher of science. He is a writer, speaker, and consultant on the interface of science and religion, faith and reason. One of his most recent books is “Life’s Journey—A Guide from Conception to Natural Death.” His website: www.where-do-we-come-from.com.