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A special day

Monday, 28 October 2013


(by L'Osservatore Romano, Weekly ed. in English, n. 44, 1 November 2013)


Pope Francis preached on Jesus' prayer during his life on earth, and the prayer of intercession he continues to offer for us in heaven, in the presence of the Father. Commenting on the day’s Gospel passage from St Luke (6:12-19), in which the evangelist recounts Jesus’ choosing of the Twelve.

“It was a special day”, the Pope began, “for it was the day the Apostles were chosen”. He then noted that this special day was characterized by three moments. First, Jesus passed “an entire night in prayer with the Father” on the mountain; then, he is among his apostles, and finally, he is among the people. The Holy Father explained that prayer is found at the centre of all three moments: Jesus prays to the Father in the intimacy he shared with him; he prays for the people who came out to meet him; and he also prays for the Apostles.

Pope Francis then recalled Jesus’ prayer on Holy Thursday after the Last Supper, when he interceded with the Father for those whom he had given him and for all future believers. Jesus’ prayer, the Pope noted, was both “universal” and “personal”.

Pope Francis also noted that “on the same night, Jesus looked at Peter and said: Peter, behold Satan demanded to have you that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail”. The Holy Father added that Jesus then exhorts Peter to “pray to the Father for each of his brethren” (cf Lk 22:31-32).

“I would like for all of us to look today to Jesus who prays”.

Does Jesus still pray, the Pope asked. “Yes”, he replied, “the Bible clearly says so”. “He is our intercessor, the one who prays to the Father with us and for us. Jesus saved us. He offered the great prayer of the sacrifice of his life in order to save us... now he has gone away, and he prays”.

“Jesus is a person, he is a man with flesh like our own, but he is in glory. Jesus retains the marks of his wounds in his hands, his feet and his side. And when he prays he shows the Father the price of our justification, and he prays for us”.

Jesus always has our salvation in mind, the Holy Father continued, and “this is why when we pray, we say: through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son. For he is the first to pray, he is our brother … our intercessor”.

Pope Francis concluded by inviting those present to contemplate this reality and to thank the Lord: “Let us tell him: Lord, you are the intercessor, you have saved me ... and now you pray for me. And let us entrust our problems and our lives to him, for he brings them to the Father”.


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