2 August, Tuesday
Readings: Jer 30:1-2, 12-15, 18-22; Ps 102:16-18, 19-21, 29, 22-23; Mt 14:22-36
PRAYER IS OUR STRENGTH
“To go up alone into the mountain and come back as an ambassador to the world, has ever been the method of humanity’s best friend” (Evelyn Underhill). “Jesus went up the mountain by himself to pray” (Mt 14:23). Prayer of Jesus was being in the presence of God. Prayer is having an intimate communion with the Father and total dependence. Prayer is not primarily speaking but listening; prayer is not primarily coercing God but submitting to God; Prayer is not doing something in God’s presence, but being present to him; it is a gravitational movement initiated by the Spirit towards the heart of God.
‘Mountain’ has a special significance in the Bible; it is a place said to be ‘closer to God’ in the Biblical cultures. God often reveals himself on the mountain. Mount Sinai is the symbol of God’s covenant, where Moses received the Ten Commandments. Jesus gave the Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount.
However we are busy with our daily activities, we need to realize that our strength is from the Lord which comes to us in prayer. Let us find some time in a day to commune with God. “All the troubles of life come upon us because we refuse to sit quietly for a while each day in our rooms” (Blaise Paschal). Let us cry ‘Lord, save me’ (Mt 14:30) in our difficulties, but without having doubts but always with full faith accepting Jesus and worship him as the ‘true Son of God’ (Mt 14:33). The Lord is always with us in our fears, terror, loneliness, family problems, broken relationships, rejections with his comforting words, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid” (Mt 14:27). Let us recognize him like the people who followed Jesus (Mt 14:35), his presence and have personal experience of him in our life. ‘When the apostles got into the boat, the wind ceased’ (Mt 14:32), everything was perfect because there was the presence of Jesus.
The word of God that came to Jeremiah offers the people of Israel hope and consolation in Babylonian exile, that the Lord would restore their fortunes and have compassion on them, and bring them back to the Promised Land. Our hope is in Jesus who leads our life.
Promise: Let us recognize Jesus in the persons and events in and around us, through which Jesus comes towards us and ask the Lord to deepen our faith in Him.