Do you remember that Verizon commercial? Illustrating all the different locations where Verizon gets service? It was catchy, clever and certainly memorable. Sometimes I feel as though my prayer life is like a Verizon commercial! I need to pray for ___, and ____, or and don’t forget ___. Did I remember ____, oh and _____, and didn’t she ask for my prayers last week?????? So many people to pray for, so many needs, such a long list, I don’t want to forget anyone who asked for my prayers……yikes! Prayer is stressful!
St. Luke tells of a story of Jesus approaching a town called Naim. As he got near the gates he saw a man being carried out, the only son of a widowed mother. St. Luke tells it like this, “The Lord was moved with pity upon seeing her and said to her, “Do not cry.” Then he bid the dead man to get up and we all know the rest of the story.
Did you notice? The woman didn’t even have to ask…..’the Lord was moved with pity’.
Forget the lists, forget the proper posture, forget the formatted words and forget the timed prayer sessions.
Lift up your eyes, open your heart to Him and let Him heal. “The Lord was filled with compassion”….and she didn’t even have to ask!
And, the more that I think about Jesus saying, “Do not be afraid, just have faith” to a man whose little daughter has just died, the more I am both amazed and comforted. When I reflect on the many things that are ‘crosses’ in my life right now, none of them can compare with the death of a child. If Jesus could tell a grieving father to ‘just have faith’ when the circumstances seemed so dire, then there is nothing that I can’t bring to him, and nothing that he can’t heal.
“Just have faith” – three little words that can change my life. These three little words are transforming…they effect my attitudes, my decisions, my moods, my past, present and future, the way I live and the way that I love. He tells me, “Just have faith” and I answer:
I’m really worried
I’m so afraid
I’m not seeing you, hearing you, feeling you right now
I have to do something…I have to take control
I fear the worst
And he responds, “Do not be afraid, JUST HAVE FAITH”
And I ask for the faith of a mustard seed so I can move mountains.
I read one of my favorite Scripture passages this morning – the healing of both Jairus’ daughter and the woman with a hemorrhage.
I can’t tell you how many times I read it….just love it for so many reasons.
I always zoom in on the sick woman and how she only had to reach out and touch Jesus’ cloak. I may not be able to stand up straight and face Jesus face-to-face, I may not even be able to kneel before him, sometimes the best I can do is to just extend a weak and shaky hand to lightly touch that tassel.
But today, it was another phrase that caught my attention. After Jairus was told not to bother Jesus anymore because his daughter had died,
Jesus turned to Jairus and said, “Don’t be afraid, just have faith”.
“Just have faith”
So many times in the Gospels we read about Jesus speaking about the power of faith. It’s as simple –and as difficult- as that…..just have faith
I need to reflect on that. I need to Pray on that. I need to ACT on that.
Care to join me?
You know, if it weren’t for all my schoolin’, no one would ever be able to convince me that the moon does not generate its own light. These past few nights, the moon has shone so brightly that it has masked the stars nearby, and cast a soft light , accentuating the dusting of snow which we have on the ground right now. When I gaze at it, it appears as though it is a spotlight in the night sky. But, we know that the moon has no light of its own. It merely reflects the light of the sun.
So, it makes me think….what do I reflect? I think that we all reflect something. We can’t not. All of our relationships, our culture, our environments, all of these contribute to who we are, what we believe and how we think. Who I am is communicated to the world in the way that I live, the choices I make and the things I say. So, I ask myself again…..what do I reflect?
As the moon reflects the sun, my prayer today is that I too reflect the SON.
I was talking with a couple people the other day. One of those light but heavy conversations…We got on the topic of some of the ‘big’ authors of faith, Rahner, Balthasar, de Chardin, etc. Oh, not that we were discussing their theology, no, it was more like…’why is it so difficult to understand their writings…?’
One of the people said something like, ‘Why do these authors make such simple tenets so complicated?’ He then went on to say, ‘Just read the Gospels, I understand everything Jesus meant’.
Oooooh, I’d be really careful with a statement like that! Jesus, the God-man who turned the world upside down. Jesus, the God-man who was unpredictable – silent when I would have screamed, slow when I would have rushed, faithful when I would have given up, loving when I would have turned away…..
Do I have faith? I sure hope so. Do I love him? I think so. Do I understand him? Well, I’m still working on that one…..