Prayer without ceasing - for over two thousand years.
Twenty-ninth Sunday Ordinary Time
October 16, 2022 •
That's why intercessory prayer is so essential. Moses, the leader of the people was interceding for them to God in his prayer so they could win the battle they were fighting. And it worked.
Notice, though, the prayer had to be continuous. Now that seems a little unfair of God, right? We get tired. Humans are finite creatures. We don't have infinite energy.
The beauty of this first reading is that it shows us just because you have to "pray without ceasing" doesn't mean you have to do it alone.
Moses had his deacons. The two men who assisted him in his prayer when he was not strong enough to do it by himself. Even Jesus Christ had Simon of Cyrene help Him carry His cross when it got too heavy.
By God's design, the command to "pray without ceasing" - which is necessary -cannot be done by an individual. This is intentional. God created us this way on purpose. Both the need to pray ceaselessly to succeed, and the fact that we're finite and we can't do it alone. That means we have to do it together as a community of people. We need each other to support one another in prayer.
The highest prayer is always the prayer of the leader. Our leader is Jesus Christ. . . . When the priest stands up here and prays the prayers of the Mass, he is praying in the person of Jesus Christ.
The beauty of the Mass and the raised hands of the priest is that - with the Catholic Church spread throughout the world - in Catholic Churches throughout the world, in every town and village, in every country and nation, there is a Mass being celebrated and a priest's hands being raised at every moment of every day. That is the continuous prayer of the Church. Literally non-stop, the Body of Christ has hands lifted up to God the Father in supplication.
How can we lose? How can we lose the battle, whatever the battle may be? . . .
Do you believe in the prayer of the Church? Do you believe in the prayer of the Mass? That this is the prayer of Jesus Christ Himself. That's the faith that our Lord is asking of each one of us.
When you're going through your daily spiritual battles, whatever they may be, all you have to do is close your eyes and think: Somewhere, a priest has his hands raised. And the Mass is being offered. For me.
Father follows this stirring homily with some particulars. Specifically about who raises or extends their hands during the Mass. And who does not.
Ex 17:8-13; Ps 121:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8; 2 Tm 3:14—4:2; Lk 18:1-8
Homily begins at 21:00