We are called by Baptism. We are chosen to be part of the work of God on earth. We are enlightened by Jesus, our Christ, with Grace and Wisdom to guide our participation in the formation and fulfillment of God’s promise.
It’s why ‘we gots HIM’, the SPIRIT given in our Baptism.
In the Gospel today, Jesus preaches the need for meta-noia, as God’s Kin*dom is at hand. He tells us of the vital importance of our “seeing” things in a new and different way, to use the GIFT of God’s LIGHT, LOVE and Grace to guide us.
We typically tend to downplay, even doubt, the power that our faith offers us. After all, we surmise, we aren’t like them saints who healed people or otherwise impacted lives as they shared God’s Love and Grace.
Or are we? Has God given us power that we don’t fully appreciate or understand? Perhaps our prayer provides a path? Consider what Cathy Converse, our parish’s Pastoral Minister, offers for us to ponder:
POWER of PRAYER
What is the power of prayer? Good question to ponder. Just recently, I had some experiences that I would like to share with you. These next few Sundays in the scriptures, we focus on the HOLY SPIRIT. The power of prayer comes from believing in the presence of the Spirit in our daily lives.
Back in Advent, Bishop Gruss asked us to pray by name for those people in our lives that may have been away from the church. So, you may recall the book that we made available to write the name(s) of those you wanted to come back to the church, to return to share our worship.
I took that invitation and request very seriously and decided just before Advent and during Advent to pray for my daughter and son by name to start coming back to church. Truly, I prayed every day.
Then while sitting in church the Second Sunday of Advent, as Fr. Joe placed that Book with the names of those we prayed would come back to the church in the cradle, I had an overwhelming feeling. I can’t really explain it, “just one of those Holy Moments”.
I got home that day and later my daughter called me. As we talked, she shared with me that she had gone to church that morning. I asked her, what time? The time that she was going to church was precisely when I had had the “Holy Moment.”
When she came home for Christmas I shared with her about praying for her by name and also for her brother and his family. Well, she then proceeded to tell me that her brother and his wife have made a New Year’s resolution to go to church.
A lady at our Book Study shared her experience that her son was not going to church. I told her go put his name in the Advent Book, which she did. That next weekend she came up to me and said, “Cathy, guess who called me this morning and asked me, ‘what time are you going to church?’ And then he simply said ‘I want to meet you there!’”
One more story on the Power of Prayer before I close. We have a family with a young boy who needs a heart transplant. A week before Christmas he was in the hospital in Ann Arbor and his dad was at Mass. I reached out to him to see how their son was doing. I decided to be bold and say would you mind if Sarah and I pray with you. He welcomed the prayer.
Our prayer and hope was that his son and mom would be able to be home for Christmas. Well, as I looked around on Christmas Eve Mass, there they were! The boy was just beaming, so happy to be home for Christmas. What better place to be than to be HOME with his family and his church HOME!
Our God is an Awesome God and when we put our trust in Him and pray, amazing things can happen. I do not have the magic. It is God, through the power of the Holy Spirit who answers our prayers!
Another lesson I learned, is that when we tell people we’ll pray for them, maybe we go one step further: stop and pray with them! It is probably the best medicine they need!
So, those names that you wrote in the Advent Book of Intentions are now in our regular Book of Intentions. Keep on praying, they are not forgotten! Blessings! Cathy