Monday, Thirty Third Week in Ordinary Time
Rev 1:1-4,2:1-5; Ps 1:1-4,6; Lk 18:35-43
The blind man in the Gospel teaches us the art of prayer. His situation seemed hopeless and the people around him provided him absolutely no support or encouragement. Yet he did not lose hope nor did his faith in God waver. The intensity of his cry increased until the Lord reached out to him. During our moments of trial when prayer seems hard, we need to draw inspiration from the blind man and simply repeat, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” This short formulaic prayer is known as the Jesus Prayer or Prayer of the Heart and has been used through centuries in the Church.
To pray in this way one does not need knowledge of theology, complex techniques of mediation or the luxury of solitude. This prayer can be said by anybody and at any and all time. Whether while washing clothes, travelling by bus, waiting for an appointment or while laying on your couch; this prayer can go on in our mind. In this way we will be praying unceasingly. If you find yourself getting distracted by different thoughts, pray all the more fervently like the blind man and soon you will enjoy bliss in the presence of God. This prayer strengthens spiritual life and helps overcome bad habits.
The power of this prayer comes not only from its content, but from the very invocation of the name of Jesus. This is founded on the biblical view that God’s name is conceived as the place of his presence. The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains, “When the holy name is repeated often by a humble attentive heart, the prayer is not lost by heaping up empty phrases, but holds fast to the word and ‘brings forth fruit with patience.’ This prayer is possible ‘at all times’ because it is not one occupation among others but the only occupation: that of loving God, which animates and transfigures every action in Christ Jesus.”
Responsorial Psalm: To the one who conquers, I will grant to eat of the tree of life.
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