April 6, 2023 •
You'll recall that it was on this night that our Lord warned the Apostles to stay awake and pray. Stay awake and pray.
Every time He went off a little distance to pray, He'd come back, and there were Peter, James and John. Fast asleep. They were just so exhausted they could not stay awake.
He warns them: "Get up. Pray. You're going to be tested, you need strength. I've already given you My Body and Blood in the Eucharist. I've washed your feet as a sign of spiritual cleansing. But now it is time to pray."
He chides Peter: "Could you not stay awake one hour with Me?"
One hour. See, that's our Lord's teaching on the first holy hour. That's why it's been a long standing tradition at the Church - that's why we have a formal holy hour on Thursday nights. That's the night the apostles should have stayed awake and prayed. It's the night Jesus asked for an hour of prayer in His presence. . . .
It's not Jesus Who needs your time. It's not Jesus Who needs your prayers. He's the Lord. He doesn't need anything from us.
It's we who need to spend this time in prayer.
Prayer - like the Sacraments - is not a magic bullet. It doesn't take care of all your problems. But the graces that we receive in the Sacraments are actually strengthened and flower through our prayer.
When we're not praying enough, when we're not spending enough time in prayer, then all those grace we've received go unused. And eventually, leave us.
Especially this night. Take advantage of the opportunity you have. Spend at least some time with our Lord. Though He needs nothing from us, spend some time with Him trying to console His grieving Heart.
Ex 12:1-8, 11-14; Ps 116:12-13, 15-16bc, 17-18; 1 Cor 11:23-26; Jn 13:1-15
Homily begins at 24:24