Jesus Christ teaches us how to pray. Whenever the gospels tell of him praying, as they do in today’s reading, listen carefully. Jesus teaches us how to pray.
“Father, the hour has come.” How like the prayer Jesus taught elsewhere in the gospel. “ Father, your kingdom come.” As a child approaches a loving parent who wishes only good, Jesus approached his Father in prayer. He’s confident God’s kingdom will come and he has a role to fulfill in making it come to this world.
Remember when Jesus prayed this prayer. It’s at the Last Supper and suffering and death await him. The world about him looks dark and unsure. Yet even then, he’s confident of the promises God never withholds. “Give glory to your son, so that your son may glorify you.” From the supper room he goes to Garden of Gethsemane where he prays in the same way.
Our gospel begins with the simple words, “Jesus turned to his eyes to heaven.” Heaven wasn’t blind to his pleas, his questions, his fears, the fierce reality before him then. The heavens were open, God was listening, strength and courage were given to him. A Father heard his Son.
It’s the same for us. In prayer, we turn our eyes to heaven and they open. God, who made and loves us, refreshes us. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will refresh you.” Prayer is God’s invitation to come and be refreshed.
- Fr. Victor Hoagland, C.P.