Welcoming the Holy

Here we invite you to take time for yourself in personal prayer. The following spiritual reflection offers words and images which we hope will evoke for you an experience of God. 


 

Prayer 

O Lord, hear my voice. Listen to my prayer and hide not your face from me.  

 
 

Reading from Scripture

John 17:1-11a

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you, just as you gave him authority over all people, so that your son may give eternal life to all you gave him. Now this is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and the one whom you sent, Jesus Christ. I glorified you on earth by accomplishing the work that you gave me to do. Now glorify me, Father, with you, with the glory that I had with you before the world began.
“I revealed your name to those whom you gave me out of the world. They belonged to you, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you gave me is from you, because the words you gave to me I have given to them, and they accepted them and truly understood that I came from you, and they have believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for the ones you have given me, because they are yours, and everything of mine is yours and everything of yours is mine, and I have been glorified in them. And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you.”
 

 

 
 

Reflection

On this Sunday between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost, we find the disciples and women gathered in prayer in anticipation of the coming of the Holy Spirit. The excerpt from John’s Gospel is part of Jesus’ priestly prayer given at the Last Supper. In that prayer, Jesus prays in a special way for his followers. So, let us take some time to think and reflect on prayer.

Is prayer a weakness or a support system that we use when there seems to be no other option? This may be true when the God of our prayer is created in our own image and adapted to our needs and concerns.
 
This is reflected if our prayer consists primarily of the prayer of petition. We ask to be saved from this; healed from that; pass this exam and, in the process we try to bargain with God. “If you help me with this, I will go to Mass every Sunday.” “If you help me sell me house, find a job, get out of this mess, keep my children safe, I will …” You fill in the blanks. We’ve all done it and will do it again.
 
Hopefully, if things did turn out alright, we offered a prayer of thanks. However, more often than not, our prayer is lopsided – more asking than thanking. Prayers of gratitude for the gift of a new day, for life, for family and friends, for the many blessings we take for granted should flow from our lips.
 
There are other forms of prayer such as the prayer of suffering as offered by many who endure chronic pain, debilitating disease, loss of a loved one, mental anguish, and suffer in ways known only to God. This is not an easy prayer.
 
Others take comfort in devotional prayer, such as the rosary. Then there is Lectio Divina, meditation, reflection on scripture, and so many other forms. One may move from one type of prayer to another depending on the needs in one’s life. The important thing is to take some time, even as little as 5 minutes if that is all we can manage, and turn to the Lord and talk to him about whatever is going on in my life.   
 

 
 

Reflection Questions

 

  • Do I take time to pray?  Why or why not.  

  • Can I identify my prayer? Is it petition, thanksgiving, praise, scripture? 
  • Am I willing to try a different prayer form? If it helps me, fine. If not, move on.