Scripture: January 7, Lectionary # 217:  I John 5:5-13. Psalm
147:12-13.14-15.19-20. Luke 5:12-16

Today's Readings

Today we learn that Jesus not only prayed in the synagogues and in the
Temple in Jerusalem but also on many occasion he leaves his disciples and
the crowds and retires to a private and even lonely deserted place to pray
and be in intimate communion with his Father through the Holy Spirit.  He
does this after a busy day of curing, advising, teaching, and calming
people who come to him with trust and belief.  He seems to need time to
unite himself alone with God.

It is Luke who tells us the most about the prayer of Jesus-- almost as much
as the other three Gospels put together do.  This will be continued in the
followers of Jesus, his apostles, friends, and family members who will
continue to pray publicly and at certain hours in the Temple.  The Holy
Spirit is never far from the passages about prayer.  Luke merits the title
Evangelist of Prayer and the Holy Spirit.

We are able to be people of prayer too by invoking the Holy Spirit before
we pray or read the Scriptures. We are to take some moments to place
ourselves in the presence of God and then to listen and be open to God as
we pray.  Paul gives us the encouragement in his famous chapter eight of
Romans which should be read from time to time to remind us of how we are to
pray even when we do not feel like praying or when we do not even seem to
know how to pray. Paul and Luke are great advocates of prayer through their

Luke is also the Social Gospel. So as we learned yesterday we are to bring
what we hear and internalize from the liturgical readings into our daily
doings at work and in our interaction with others. Prayer gives motivation
to us to do something about the poor who need our help or to free people
from the prisons of addiction and abuse. We are to unite ourselves to
Christ through the Holy Spirit.

"O God, give us the gift of praying in and through the Spirit of Jesus.
Strengthen us to do the works of justice and peace by living out the
commandments, the precepts of the Church, and the beatitudes."  Amen.