Prayer, Community and Ministry

Luke 6: 12-19
Col 2:6-15/Ps 145:1-2,8-11

In those days he departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose twelve, whom he also named apostles.
(Luke 6:12-13)

We learned the power of prayer
And the love of community;
But the purpose of our Maker
Was revealed in our ministry.

Jesus spent the whole night in prayer before He chose His closest disciples. Then He came down with them to face a multitude of people who had come from all parts of Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal cities of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear His Good News of salvation, and to be healed of their various diseases. Luke’s Gospel narrates that He healed them all, including those troubled by evil spirits.

Reflection

We read in today’s Gospel the three important things that Christians can relate with well in their life in the renewal. The first is prayer. Our Lord spent the whole night in prayer. We have learned the efficacy of prayers (especially group novenas) before embarking on important projects or missions, like opening a new outreach, starting a Christian Life Program, or embarking on a long journey. When our newly established chapter was tasked to host the BCBP’s 21st National Anniversary, the first important activity we held was a novena even before deciding on the appointments of the various committee chairmanships. Prayer never fails. It was reputed to be one of the most successful national anniversaries of the Brotherhood.

The second important lesson that we read in today’s Gospel is about community. Our Lord needed to establish His own community to carry out His mission. Out of the hundreds of disciples who followed Him to learn and believe, He chose twelve whom He commissioned as His apostles. Jesus shows us that we can never be as effective in carrying out our calling or vocation in life unless we belong to a community. No such thing as a “Lone Ranger” in bringing others to Christ. All of us in the renewal agree that there is no substitute to community. It is our support group, our prayer intercessors, our ‘critical mass’ needed to make an impact in the marketplace. Alone in the meadow, a solitary tree is vulnerable to strong winds, but in the forest, a tree can grow straight, tall and strong. Such is the value of our spiritual community.

With prayers and a loving community, we can now boldly face the third aspect of our renewal: our ministry. This is the true purpose of being in the renewal: to fight the good fight for Christ, to win the battle for souls. In meditation we are empowered, and in numbers we have the confidence and strength to fulfill our mission. On this we have no reason to doubt or fear. Jesus has shown us this lesson today.

Father God, we thank You for giving us our community, and empowering us each time we come to You for strength and guidance. May we live up to Your great love by seeking out others who are still searching for Your Light, and bringing them to Your Beloved Son, Jesus, Who has shown us the Way. Amen.

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