Grace to you!
Have you ever been in a situation where you couldn’t help yourself; or rather, where you needed a helping hand? Reflecting about those moments may help to appreciate the relevance of friendship, relationships, support system and intercession.
Seeing documentaries about war veterans, I am always fascinated by the sacrifices veterans make for each other at the battlefront. They put their lives on the line to bring wounded soldiers to safety, often carrying them on their shoulders amidst the whizzing sound of blazing bullets over their heads. No weight of a wounded friend is unbearable in the face of war and deadly bullets.
Consider your spiritual life. Isn’t it the case that sometimes you need somebody to pray for you? Other times, you feel the weight of some other person’s burdens prompting you to become an intercessor. Responding to those promptings is blessing.
Many times in our spiritual life, the faith of the family and community of believers lifts us up. Take for instance, the prayers of your mom who ceaselessly mentions your name during her daily Masses, bible readings, rosaries or other prayers; or the prayers of your friends who shared your prayer-burden when they heard the news that you or your loved one was diagnosed with terminal disease. These prayer-support systems carry you on the wings of faith to Him, who alone can help you.
You may not even believe in the power of those prayers, but your doubts wouldn’t stop God from doing what He is capable of doing. He is able.
You may be encouraged to see how Jesus responds to intercessions for you or for others. Matthew 9:1-8 records the story of the healing of a paralytic by Jesus. In this case, Jesus didn’t simply respond to the paralytic because of his faith. Scripture reports that Jesus was drawn by the faith of the people who brought him. “And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven’” (Matthew 9:2). Thereafter, he healed the man as he will heal us too.
There may be people around you, in your family, at your workplace, in your community or among your online friends who may need your faith-support to re-ignite their own faith.
It would be wonderful if you and I, as believers, rediscover the power of intercession. Against the name-calling, bad blood in many communities and the spirit of vengeance and hatred due to real or imagined injustice done against us or someone we love, may we become intercessors.
Believers are the salt of the earth and light of the world as they provide for what is lacking. They model the way. They spice the horrible taste of the world with the graciousness of prayer, sacrifices and love. Their intercessions avail much.
How about we take up the petitions of those spiritually paralyzed, those emotionally, psychologically and mentally crippled, those who are deep in sin, even those who are forcibly opposed to our faith, one person at a time, before Jesus.
Don’t you think rediscovering our roles as intercessors can help much? A prayer for a person each day is a holy service. Give it a try. You will be blessed.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Thursday Week 14 Ordinary Time: Amos 7:10-17; Matthew 9:1-8]
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.