Friday of the Thirty-third Week in Ordinary Time
“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 20TH Lk. 19: 45-48 “My house shall be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.”
Part 1: Our Soul is a House of Prayer – A Guided Meditation
Part 2: JESUS: OUR MODEL PRAYER-WARRIOR! By Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
PART 1: Our Soul is a House of Prayer…
- Today Jesus invites you to renew or restart your commitment to your daily Holy Hour, the time you spend each day talking with Jesus, your Savior and Best Friend. He thirsts that you thirst for Him! Perhaps you are flagging in prayer, praying for less time and less often. “But I have this against you that you have abandoned the love you had at first.” (Rev. 2:4) Now is the time to renew and deepen your love for Jesus by talking with Him daily in your holy hour. Like anything else worthwhile in life, you have to fight for it! You have to fight for your time alone with Jesus.
- Your Soul is meant to be a House of Prayer. Prayer is spending time with the One who loves you – even to death on the cross. Prayer is reading the Word of God and thinking about how it speaks to you. Prayer is sometimes conversing with Jesus, sometimes sitting quietly together, sometimes fighting off distractions, temptations and dryness. Prayer is turning to Jesus in your need, in your sorrow, in your joy! Give Jesus one hour a day, and He will bless the other 23 hours.
- When you are tired… struggling through your job, your studies, your apostolic work, or the mundane duties of each day. Seek your rest in Jesus who sat down to rest at the well and talked with the Samaritan woman, resulting in her conversion. Jesus, who was so exhausted from preaching to the crowds that He fell asleep in the boat during a raging storm until the Apostles finally woke Him to calm the winds.
- When you are suffering material or spiritual poverty… Seek relief from Jesus who was born in a stable because there was no room in the inn… whose parents had to flee with Him to Egypt in the middle of the night because Herod wanted to kill Him… who had nowhere to lay His head during His three years of public ministry… who thirsted on the cross. He thirsts that you thirst for Him!
- When you are weighed down by life’s burdens and your own failures… Be comforted and lifted up by Jesus, who was sorrowful unto death in the Garden of Gethsemane… who sweat huge drops of blood as the sins of all mankind rained down upon Him… who willed to drink the chalice of suffering to the dregs, knowing that for some, His sacrifice would be in vain… who prayed to the Father not once, but three times, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Mt. 26: 39-44)
- When you are humiliated, rejected, unjustly accused, ignored, forgotten… Hide in the wounds of Jesus, who was beaten, scourged, crowned with thorns, spat upon, mocked, cursed, stripped, nailed to a cross to die as a common criminal, and finally lanced with a sword that pierced His side and Heart causing blood and water to gush forth. All of this He willing suffered in His great love for you!
- When you are in need of God’s mercy and forgiveness… and when you need to show mercy and forgiveness to others… Receive Jesus’ Infinite Mercy in Confession, then beg for the grace to give to those who have offended you the Mercy of Jesus … the Mercy that saved the woman caught in adultery, “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone.” (Jn. 8:7)… the Mercy that granted eternal salvation to the repentant thief on the cross, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Lk. 23-43)
- When you are lonely and long for the joy of loving and being loved… Turn your eyes to Jesus who wept at the death of Lazarus, then turned the sorrow of Mary and Martha into joy by raising him from the dead… who spoke Mary Magdalene’s name after the Resurrection, changing her inconsolable grief into boundless joy as she recognized her beloved… who at the foot of the cross gave Mary, His Mother to be your own dear Mother of Mercy – your life, your sweetness, and your hope!
- “Behold I am with you always, until the very end of the world.” (Mt. 28:20) Jesus’ last words to you! Rejoice and be glad! This is the day the Lord has made! This day and every day, He calls you to Himself – to live in Him, with Him, and through Him.
- I am with you in your daily hour of prayer so I can sanctify you, and sanctify the rest of your daily activities and dealings with others! I am with you in the healing grace of Confession. I am with you as nourishment for your soul in Holy Communion. I am with you in Eucharistic adoration. Truly, you are My most beloved child!
Part 2: JESUS: OUR MODEL PRAYER-WARRIOR! By Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. In all—His words, actions, silence, miracles—Jesus serves as the best Model for us to study, meditate, contemplate, and of course imitate.
JESUS AT PRAYER. A good part of His private life, which lasted a good thirty years as the son of a carpenter at Nazareth, were absorbed in prayer. At the moment of His Baptism, Saint Luke presents Jesus absorbed in prayer. Before choosing the 12 Apostles who would carry out His mission, Jesus spent the whole night in communion with the heavenly Father, once again, in prayer.
JESUS AS MODEL OF PRAYER IN THE GARDEN OF GETHSEMANE. The essence of this short essay will be to show Jesus’ deep filial, fervent, humble, and you might even say heart-rending prayer that Holy Thursday night, shortly after the Last Supper, in the Garden of Olives. Let us step back and calmly contemplate all of the elements of Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Olives, also called the Garden of Gethsemane. May this be an inspiring lesson for us so that we will strive with all the fiber of our being to upgrade, improve, and motivate our own personal prayer life.
1. PRAYER—PLACE. Jesus habitually would go to the Garden of Olives where He would dedicate prolonged periods of silence to prayer and immerse Himself in a profound dialogue with Abba—Father! Likewise, we should have some specific place that is propitious for prayer, a place that fosters deep recollection and union with our Heavenly Father and with Jesus, our Redeemer and closest friend. Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen found his prayer-abode in Church in front of the Blessed Sacrament. If this is not possible for you, at least find a place where there is silence. Why? God speaks most eloquently when we are not bombarded by noise-pollution. With the young Samuel we can listen and respond: Speak O Lord, for your servant is listening!
2. PROSTRATION. In the Garden, Jesus prostrated Himself on the ground. Abram did this and God spoke to him. The Magi prostrated themselves before the Infant King Jesus and gave Him their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Finally, at Fatima in 1916, the Angels taught the children—Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta—to kneel and prostrate themselves, and then address their prayers to God. The bodily posture of prostration is very deep in symbolism. It means humility, subjection to God, and penance in recognition of our nature as sinners. God loves a humble heart. He wants us to submit our will to His will, and He wants us to humbly beg pardon for our many sins!
3. FILIAL PRAYER. By filial we mean a prayer of loving trust and confidence between Father and Son. Jesus calls His Father Abba—which loosely translated is Daddy! Like Jesus, our prayer must be one of loving trust in our Heavenly Father who loves us infinitely and cares for us so much that He even knows how many hairs we have on our head and even when one hair falls to the ground.
4. SUBMISSION TO GOD. In this heart-rending prayer, Jesus knows that His Passion, suffering and death is looming before Him and He asks God to remove the chalice of suffering from Him, but He ends with a total submission to the will of His Heavenly Father: “Father, not my will, but your will be done!” (Mt. 26:39) Our growth in holiness, sanctification, and perseverance depends in large part on assuming this attitude of Jesus—submitting our will to the will of our Heavenly Father. We reiterate this same interior disposition of heart in the Our Father: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
5. PERSEVERANCE IN PRAYER. A very interesting highlight of the model-prayer of Jesus in the Garden is that Jesus says this prayer three times: “Father, if it be possible remove this chalice from me; nevertheless, not my will, but your will be done. (Mt. 25:39) The lesson? We must persevere in our prayer life to the very end. The message of the insistent widow clamoring for justice to the unjust judge is simply this: we must keep praying and never give up. Saint Teresa of Avila expressed it in these words: We must have a determined determination to never give up prayer.
6. PRAYER COMPANIONSHIP AND FRIENDSHIP. In His humanity, Jesus desired His friends to stay with Him and pray with Him in this critical moment. For this reason, Jesus took with Him His three best friends—Peter, James and John. However, this companionship in prayer proved to be a total failure as His three chosen friends fell asleep, and more than once, when Jesus needed them the most! Consequently, they failed Him. There is a key lesson for all of us. If we do not propose to pray well, fervently, and with trust, then like the Apostles, it is more than likely that we will succumb to temptation and give in to sin. Jesus left us with these poignant words: “Stay awake and pray because the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mt. 26: 41) May we propose to be faithful to the Lord in good times and bad, health and sickness, riches and poverty until the end of our lives! Spouses promise faithfulness to each other; so should we promise faithfulness to Jesus!
7. JESUS SWEATS BLOOD. According to Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen, the suffering of Jesus was so intense that He sweat His Precious Blood and for these reasons. All of the sins of humanity were descending upon Him like a torrential downpour—from the sins of Adam and Eve, your sins and mine, and all sins, even up to the last generation and last person in the world. However, that which caused Jesus to suffer most was the cruel reality that many people, despite the intense suffering of Jesus, would willfully decide to reject His redemptive act, and choose to live and die in their sin totally unrepentant. Due to this, they would willfully lose their soul and be eternally damned. This reality of Jesus’ loving sacrifice rejected, was what caused Jesus to suffer most and to sweat large drops of His Precious Blood. For our part, this bloody and anguished prayer of Jesus should motivate us to recognize our sins, but to make a firm purpose to renounce them and all that leads to sin in any size, form, or type!
8. PRAYER OF REPARATION. Of course, the shedding of the Blood of Jesus and His anguish of Heart should challenge us to offer frequent reparation for our sins and those of the whole world. In the words of the Chaplet of Divine Mercy: “Have mercy on us and on the whole world.”
9. THE ANGEL OF CONSOLATION. Immersed in the most profound state of desolation, God the Father consoles Jesus by sending an angel to Him, The Angel of Consolation. Exactly what went on in this encounter, we will know only in eternity. However, the most immediate interpretation and application should be the transference of the Angel of Consolation in the Garden to our own relationship with Jesus. Yes! You and I are called to be the present and active Angel of Consolation in the life of Jesus and His Mystical Body that we call the Catholic Church. Why not try to make an effort to console the Wounded Sacred Heart of Jesus with your prayers of consolation and reparation? There are so many sins that need to be repaired for today, and today more than ever! Abortions, the practice of homosexuality, contraception, euthanasia, despair, and an overall religious indifference that is downright appalling! These sins and countless others need to be objects of our fervent prayer of reparation so as to be the modern Angel of Consolation in the life of Jesus!
10. OUR LADY OF SORROWS. In all of our meditations on the Passion of Jesus, most specifically the Agony in the Garden, which is the First Sorrowful Mystery of the Holy Rosary, we want to ask Our Lady of Sorrows to pray with us and to pray for us so that our prayer might be transformed into a fragrant aroma of incense that ascends on high to the heavenly heights! May Our Lady of Sorrows’ fervent prayers, with our prayers, result in consoling the wounded Heart of Jesus and result in the salvation of countless souls!
Copyright 2020 Oblates of the Virgin Mary
St. Peter Chanel Church, Hawaiian Gardens, CA