From Ignatius House
Good morning! Let the sunshine coming from the East bring you new peace and joy this day. In today's gospel, Luke 9:18-22, we come upon a scene somewhat peculiar to Evangelist Luke. This gospel recorder always took time to point out Jesus in prayer**. Here in these verses we see Jesus praying in solitude while he was with his disciples. This is the Spiritual Director at work! He was about to share with his colleagues who he truly was as well as the very difficult future he was about to endure.
A question: how often do parishioners witness a priest or deacon "in solitude with God"? Be still! A command but simultaneously an invitation. What critical issues confront clergymen (and women in other religious bodies) there is usually time for prayer. The personal experience of many in such moments, however, the mind, heart and soul are in a roil. Being still, being at peace is difficult: distractions abound.
Jesus prayed often. Without doubt he was and is for us the model of the frequent pray-er, the genuine spiritual director who is always at hand for us. We are called clergy people and laity to holiness and the primary journey to holiness is on the highway of prayer. It is in praying to Jesus that we come to know him personally, intimately. As well, it is in our prayer that we come to know ourselves better.
So, how do I answer the question put forward by Jesus: "Who do you say that I am?"
**Lucan citations for Jesus in prayer: a) 3:21 his baptism, b) 6:12 before selecting his apostles, c) 9:29 at the Transfiguration, d) 22:42 in the Garden at Gethsemane, and e) 23:24 during time on the cross.
Oremus pro invicem!