St Raymond of Penyafort, priest
Friday after Epiphany : 7th January 2022
Lk. 5:12-16 (Ps Wk II)
Sometimes the gospels tell us Jesus went to a mountain or a deserted place to pray. Usually, it seemed to be just after a healing or other miracle or before some important event. Today’s gospel tells us about crowds coming to listen to Him and be healed after learning about His healing miracles. But from the way St Luke writes about Him, it’s clear that going away to pray was something Jesus regularly did. It wasn’t just for special occasions.
About what did Jesus pray? How did He pray? His contact and communication with the One He called “Father” was very important for Him. It was His very life, as He indicated when talking with His disciples and followers about the Father. He clearly showed that keeping in touch with the Father required Time and Space, “away” from ordinary life. Of course, Jesus always remained with His Father, and in that sense, He didn’t need the solitude of being alone. He nevertheless did so and ‘went away’ regularly to pray. He invites us to do the same. It may only be to retire to our “inner room”, but we need some time and space for being alone with God, alone with Jesus. More than what we might say or do, just being with the Lord is the important thing.
In the person of the man Jesus healed, the gospel also shows us a way to pray: recognising who Jesus is, to fall prostrate, plead with Him and say:
“Lord, if You wish, You can …” Jesus’ immediate answer was, “ Of course, I wish it. Be clear”.
Thank You, Jesus.