The Gospel for today once more reminds us of the importance of connecting with the Father through our prayer, especially when we make important decisions in life. Many believers pray unceasingly to discern their decisions on life’s major crossroads, such as choosing which university to enroll, or which company or job offer to take.
Jesus did the same thing. He prayed before He chose the twelve ordinary people who will become His apostles in whom to entrust the task of making his message known to the world. Jesus always makes prayer His number one priority, because without prayer, His ministry will not be as fruitful as it was. His ministry finds its meaning and strength in prayer.
As I pondered on the gospel, I remember one of my experiences when I prayed hard. When I was still outside the seminary, every Friday, I would attend mass at Apung Mamacalulu Shrine (in Angeles, Pampanga). Many Kapampangans frequent the Shrine to offer their prayers and thanksgiving to the Lord of the Holy Sepulcher for all the blessings that He has bestowed upon them. Also, in this Shrine, I asked God to make me docile and earnest to listen to His call. I asked for enlightenment if He was really calling me to the priesthood. God answered my prayers and I am blessed that now I am in my second year of formation. This deep devotion to “Apu” has also deepened my vocation.
Jesus, in the Gospel, invites me to continuously nourish my relationship with the Father who calls and sustains me in formation. Prayer does not only help us especially in discerning over a decision to make in life. Prayer, as a personal relationship with God, is a non-negotiable in the life of a “called.”
By: Sem. Nico Jay Z. del Mundo
Jesus 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:
Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew,
James, John, Philip, Bartholomew,
Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus,
Simon who was called a Zealot,
and Judas the son of James,
and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
And he came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground.
A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people
from all Judea and Jerusalem
and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon
came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases;
and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured.
Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him
because power came forth from him and healed them all.