Today the Church begins its liturgical season of Ordinary Time. With the Christmas Season now officially over, we are getting back into our normal routines and habits, perhaps modified by some New Year’s resolutions. Is there room for improvement in our habits and customs of prayer?
In today’s gospel (Mk 1:21-28), Jesus goes to the synagogue and teaches, and the people are astonished because he teaches not like the scribes do but with authority. In that synagogue there was a man with an unclean spirit, which Jesus rebuked and exorcized. To summarize: first Jesus gave authoritative teachings, and then Jesus performed an amazing deed.
May I suggest that both aspects of this gospel be incorporated into your prayer life? Both the teachings and the deeds of Christ are of great value in prayer. What exactly was Jesus teaching, and what was he really doing? Furthermore, if you believe, as I do, that Jesus is truly alive now in heaven, and that He sent the Holy Spirit into the lives of His faithful, then two more questions become important in prayer: What exactly is Jesus teaching now, and what is He really doing now?
I am convinced that your prayer will become more fruitful if you find ways to pray over these four questions: What did Jesus teach then, and what does He teach now? What did Jesus do then, and what is He doing now?