I have been ordained over twenty years now. For some reason I had the misconception that prayer would be easier after ordination. I assumed that years of education and formation would automatically result in a deep and profound prayer life. That has not been the case. I found out that it still requires discipline. With two decades of ordained ministry behind me now, I realize more than ever the necessity of being vigilant in prayer. If ministry is going to bear abundant fruit, it must be wrapped in prayer to be propelled by the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the power of the Holy Spirit.
A person obviously has the opportunity to experience grace in the reception of the sacraments. This is very important when we receive the sacraments of service--Holy Orders and Holy Matrimony. We need God's grace to faithfully live up to these commitments. However, let us remember that this grace still demands a response from us. It is not magic. We are invited to cooperate with God's grace to conform our wills more completely to the will of Christ.
As I ponder the Gospel, I am also reflecting upon other passages as well.
"Faith without works is dead." (James 2:26)
"Be doers of the word, not hearers only." (James 1:22)
If we are doing well at sitting at the feet of Jesus, will it not compel us to go out into the world to serve others? A true faith will result in a transformed life. Are we experiencing life to the full? (John 10:10)
My encouragement for you today is simple: let us be people of prayer. Then we are equipped to go out into the world as faithful ambassadors for Christ. Jesus summed it up quite succinctly. Love God. Love your neighbor.
Look at the photo above and focus on the clock tower.
How many years are behind you?
How many years are in front of you? (No one knows the day or the hour.)
How have you used your time up to this point?
How do you want to use the rest of your time on this earth?
What changes would you like to make?