21 April 2010

The Prayer of Jesus on Earth

Jesus’ prayer on earth, the prayer of His humanity, addressed to the Father, is described to us in the Synoptic Gospels as inseparable from all the most important moments of His life: baptism, the temptation in the desert, the call of the apostles, the confession of Peter, the Transfiguration, the Mount of Olives, and the Cross. At every step along the way of His mysterious destiny as the Servant, Jesus prays. He prays to the Father in simplicity and trust, sometimes with tears, always with love. He has taught us how to pray, and what to ask for: the coming of the Father’s Kingdom, Pater Noster. . .

Prayer in secret (Matthew 6:5-8)
In secret: Jesus wants our prayer to be pure, for God alone; not the hypocritical ostentation of those ‘who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others’. Seen by others, not by God. The y have already received their reward.

‘But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father Who is in secret; and your Father Who sees in secret will reward you’.

In secret: ‘Secret’ implies something that is separated, set aside, (from the Latin secernere), a place apart, in solitude, in the depths of the heart, beyond the sound of words, in silence, alone with the Father, in the silence of the Father. For the Father is there, in that secret place, He sees in secret. Only the Father!

Note that the Gospels always show us Jesus on His own when He is praying. In solitude, He can assume the meaning of His own unique existence in the presence of the Father.

Prayer in the communion of the Church
And yet: ‘If two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in My Name, I am there among them’ (Matthew 18:19-20).

There is also a time for praying together, and for gathering together as the Church. This is not an ordinary gathering, but meeting together in the Name of Jesus, a union that is operated by the Word of Jesus and in His Spirit of love. The Jesus is there in the midst of us, and the Father will answer our prayer.

~ Interior Prayer – Carthusian Novice Conferences~