Fr. Mike’s Homily for Tuesday of the 23rd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle I

Fr. Mike’s Homily for Tuesday of the 23rd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle I

Theme: Importance of prayer

By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

 

Homily for Tuesday September 7 2021

Lk 6:12-19

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, whom he also named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

And he came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground. A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured. Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.

“Everyone of us needs half an hour of prayer each day, except when we are busy – then we need an hour.” This comes from St. Francis de Sales. Definitely, many people today may not agree with him. For them, when one is busy, the first activity to be dropped is prayer.

This is not only sad, but alarming as well. Without prayer, we are lost. As St. Padre Pio said, “Prayer is the oxygen of the soul.” When we have too many things to do, we need to spend more time in prayer because we need God to help and guide us in accomplishing our duties. The Lord reminds us on this: “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing” (Jn 15:5).

Jesus shows us the vital importance of prayer by His own example. During His public ministry, He is always busy every single day, so much so that He has no time even to eat. But, despite His hectic schedule, He never fails to wake up very early each day and go to a secluded place to pray. And when He has something very important to do, such as the election of His apostles, He spends the whole night in prayer. This gives Him strength and power in His ministry: “Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.” But most importantly, this gives Him the opportunity to have intimate communion with the heavenly Father. This is the best way of making sure He is in complete harmony with the Father’s will.

However, He prays, not only for His own sake, but, most especially, for His disciples. We see this clearly in His High Priestly Prayer before His passion. And since, being divine, all His actions have eternal dimension, His prayers for His followers continue in time and in eternity. This is noted by the author of the Letter to the Hebrews: “He is always able to save those who approach God through him, since he lives forever to make intercession for them” (Heb 7:25).

And finally, He also taught His disciples how to pray in a way that is pleasing to the ears of the Heavenly Father, and not like the scribes and Pharisees. Then He gave them a sample prayer addressed to the heavenly Father, the Lord’s Prayer.

How consoling, indeed, to know that not only does Jesus listen to our prayers. He also continually prays and intercedes for us before the heavenly Father. Realizing this, we ought to be more zealous in our prayer every day. We can never be too busy as to willfully neglect our daily prayers.
And finally, we should note that prayer is not just asking something from God. Rather, prayer is being in communication and communion with God. It is being in the presence of God. Venerable Fulton Sheen points this out: “The only time our Lord asked the Apostles for anything was the night He went into agony. Not for activity did He plead, but for an Hour of companionship.”

We are never alone. Jesus is always with us. He keeps us company at every moment of our life on earth. Can we spend some moments each day in prayer and keep Him company as well?

Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

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