Sunday, August 28, 2011

Jesus Is With Us Personally

We are friends, indeed, brothers and sisters of Jesus.  He is with us 24/7. How much of that time we are with Him depends on each of us. How do we do this more and more?

We need time. We need time to spend with Him -- a certain amount of time each day dedicated to Him.  We have to realize that He is with us.  Then, we talk with Him, knowing that He listens and cares about what we are saying. This is prayer.  We can talk with Jesus from our hearts. We can also pray the prayers committed to our heart such as the Our Father (Matthew 6:9ff) and the Hail Mary.  The first one is perfect because Jesus Himself taught this to us.  The Hail Mary is also from the Bible (Luke 1:28, 42) and ends with our asking for her intercession.  We make it our own by paying attention to what we are saying. If we do not give the words of these prayers our full attention, we still pray well if we keep the object of our prayer in mind, that is, God.  Our prayer is also good when we keep the intention of our prayers in view even though the words fade from our minds.

Our personal relationship with Jesus is best through the Sacraments.  It is in each of the Sacraments that God gives us grace. Jesus meets us personally in each Sacrament.  There are two that we can receive frequently: Reconciliation or Penance and Holy Communion.  Each ordained Catholic priest is in the person of Christ.  So, when someone confesses sins in the Sacrament of Penance, Jesus personally absolves him or her of those sins, provided that it is a proper confession.  When the priest distributes Holy Communion, it is Jesus Who gives Himself to the ones who receive.

All the more should we want to pray often and to receive frequently Reconciliation and Holy Communion.  By this God’s life within us is nurtured and our deepest longing satisfied.  Let us not miss these opportunities.

Father Stanley

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