As a priest I celebrate Mass daily and spend an hour in prayer before doing anything else in the morning. Not infrequently do I post these prayer times asking folks if they've got any special intentions. Praying for others is a beautiful thing to do. But sometimes I still do yearn for that shock...
Jesus wasn't much different - He spent entire nights alone wrapped in his Father's arms alone. The people flocked to him with their diseases so they could touch him and be cured.
Often I wonder if anyone ever came to Jesus and put an arm around him; asked him how he was doing; was worried about whether he had enough to eat; looked him in the eye and said a heartfelt "thank you, Lord".
Kind, but that's not exactly shocking.
I wonder if any husband ever asked Jesus to help him to be more patient with his wife.
I wonder if any young woman ever asked Jesus to help her think well of her neighbor.
I wonder if any pharisee ever asked Jesus to teach him to grow in humility.
Generous, but these aren't exactly shocking either.
It seems we are so quick to ask in prayer for easier lives. We want to be cured. We beg for God to take away everything that makes us cry.
And although so many times Jesus is willing to do this for others, he offered his own life in pain.
Jesus' goal for our lives cannot be found in this life alone. He wants us to be happy eternally. Suffering is often a very necessary path, and yet we beg him to take it away.
I wonder if anyone ever asked Jesus, instead of taking away their illness, to give them the strength to accept their disease. Now that would be shocking. But do you think Jesus would have been pleased?
(Blessings - a song)