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 on those moments may help to appreciate the relevance of friendship, relationships, support systems, and intercession.
Seeing documentaries about war veterans, I am always fascinated by the veterans' sacrifices 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 weapons.
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 other people's burdens, prompting you to become an intercessor. Responding to those promptings is a holy service. It is a blessing.
Many times in our spiritual life, the faith of the family or community of believers lifts our spirit. Take, for example, the prayers of your mom who ceaselessly mentions your name during her daily Masses, Bible readings, rosaries, or other prayers. It could be the prayers of your friends who shared your prayer-burden when they heard the news that you or your loved one was diagnosed with a terminal disease. These prayer-support systems carry you on the wings of faith to God, 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. God is able, providing in abundance what you need at those moments.
You may be encouraged to see how the Blessed Lord responds to intercessions for you or others. Matthew 9:1-8 records the story of the healing of a person with paralysis by Jesus, the Lord. In this case, the Lord didn't merely respond to the person with paralysis 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'" (Mt 9:2). After that, 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 faith.
It would be fantastic if you and I, as believers, rediscover the power of intercession. It could be a powerful tool, a spiritual weapon against the name-calling, bad blood in many communities, and the spirit of vengeance and hatred. It could foster spiritual health and victory against the real or imagined injustice done against us or someone we know.
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, emotionally, psychologically, and mentally crippled? How about we share in the prayerful burden of those who are deep in sin, one person at a time? Included are those who are forcibly opposed to our faith. How I love the saints in their commitments to pray for the sinful world.
Don't you think to rediscover 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 13: Amos 7:10-17; Matthew 9:1-8]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.