“Why does God need my help if God is omnipotent?” That question came up in my last retreat. Intellectual questions like the above can often be diversions to prayer. While being consumed of trying to find an answer, one’s attention is taken away from finding God’s voice within our affect and heart. I could not shake the question though as much as I tried not to think about it. Maybe the question has come up at some point in your prayer. When we read a gospel reading like the one today, we are reminded how Jesus needed companions in his ministry.
Our gospel comes right before the calling of the apostles in the Gospel of Mark. The description of Jesus’ early ministry shows that he cannot do what he hopes alone. Mark goes as far as to describe that the crowds were capable of crushing Jesus. Their eager attraction to the miraculous healings made the people flock to Him. The people in need of healing seems to overwhelm Jesus. The gospel reading for tomorrow describes Jesus retiring to the mountain, and appointed the 12 apostles to be with him.
When we think of Jesus, we can imagine him to be a stoic figure. Jesus gives without receiving. It seems rare in the gospels to see where Jesus expresses his needs for others. We can model our life on this abstraction of Jesus. However, like any human being, Jesus felt the need for friends and companions in his mission.
His prerogative is not only to meet the demands of the people who seek him, but also to bring us closer to him. We get to find who we truly are in his sight by beholding him. As Jesus continues to labor in our world, we are invited to more than following behind at a distance. We are invited to be his close companion.
How do I companion Christ in my daily life? How has Jesus invited me to be with Him?