Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Priere du jour - Prayer of the day!!!
Prayer and Devotions
God’s Part, Our Part
by Father Edward McIlmail, LC
Today, unite a personal effort with your prayers for a special intention.
December 5, 2007
Wednesday of the first week of Advent
At that time: Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, went up the mountain, and sat down there. Great crowds came to him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others. They placed them at his feet, and he cured them. The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the deformed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind being able to see, and they glorified the God of Israel. Jesus summoned his disciples and said, "My heart is moved with pity for the crowd, for they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat. I do not want to send them away hungry, for fear they may collapse on the way." The disciples said to him, "Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such a crowd?" Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?" "Seven, they replied, and a few small fishes." He ordered the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then he took the seven loaves and the fish, gave thanks, broke the loves, and gave them to the disciples, who in turn gave them to the crowds. They all ate and were satisfied. They picked up the fragments left over — seven baskets full.
Introductory Prayer: As the week gets more intense, I want to take full advantage of this time of prayer. I need your presence, Lord, to keep me balanced amid all the demands of the day. I love you for the gift of my faith and for the good souls you have put in my life. Let this prayer be a steppingstone to heaven.
Petition: Grant me a deeper trust in your providence, Lord. Let me not be too anxious about the things of this world.
1. Wowed Crowds Jesus’ cures of the deaf and deformed amazed his audience. His miracles were far beyond anything that they had ever seen. Christ himself remained calm and serene throughout such displays of power. And why not? The entire universe had been created through the second person of the Trinity, and Jesus as man had absolute confidence in his heavenly Father’s providence. How easy it is to forget the majesty of God amid the troubles of life. We might be tempted at times by a nagging sense that the Almighty is somehow powerless to help us. But he’s not. He has his own timetable and often prefers that we deepen our trust in him before he acts. Do I trust God enough to let him work in his own time?
2. Many Mouths to Feed Jesus’ desire to feed the hungry crowds meets with skepticism in his disciples. "Where could we ever get enough bread in this deserted place to satisfy such a crowd?" they ask. The problem is that the disciples fail to connect the dots; they see things only in a purely human way. They see only a deserted place, and hence no means for coming up with enough food to feed the multitude. What short memories they have! Did they not see Jesus perform miracle cures a few minutes earlier? Could not he who cured the lame and the blind, also produce a bit of bread? Do I trust more than the disciples do? I can marvel at the gift of life that God gives, but then wonder if he will help me out of a small problem. Don’t his many gifts in my life give me assurance of his power and goodness?
3. Loaves and Fish Here we notice that Jesus doesn’t feed the crowds until someone offers him something to work with. At times Christ’s followers can go to the other extreme in their confidence: They expect Jesus to do everything. But that is not his way. He wants us to collaborate with him, to put our resources at his disposal. Earlier he performed miracles, but only after people collaborated by bringing the ill to him. Now, he wants his disciples to bring him a few loaves and fish so as to work his wonders. Might Jesus be asking me to bring him something, in order for him to effect a solution?
Conversation with Christ: Lord, my trust in you can be shaky at times. My head tells me to have confidence in you, but at a moment of crisis it is easy to lose that sense of trust. My faith is weaker than I care to admit; yet I’m sure that you won’t reject me. Help me to count the many blessings you give me, and to remember that each gift reflects your personal love for me. Moreover, help me to open others’ eyes to your action in their lives.
Resolution: I will unite a personal effort (say, an act of charity or a donation) with my prayers for a special intention.