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  • Writer's pictureImmersed in Christ

Prayer is Not Enough

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

by Fr. David M. Knight


View readings for today:


Editor's note: Father Knight had many talents. Unfortunately, computer file management was not one of those talents. Thus, I have so far been unable to locate Fr. Knight's reflections on the daily readings from today until Feb 22 (Ash Wednesday). Consequently, starting today, I will post selections from The Five Promises of Baptism on weekdays. (Full copies of the booklet are available here.) On Sundays, I will post reflections on the Mass readings -- if I can find those files! Pray for me! ~~ Lynne Marie


In dealing with Jesus as Savior, we make two mistakes.

The first is that we just won't believe he can save our lives on this earth from continuing to be what they have become, or from becoming what we don't want them to be. Typically, we count only on ourselves for this. Quite commonly this leads us to resign ourselves to just making the best of things the way they are, because we can't do anything about it.


Our second mistake is to think God will save the situation if we pray.


To say this is a mistake is not to downplay prayer. Of course we should pray. We need to ask God to help us. Jesus repeatedly told us to do this. We are crazy if we don't ask God to help us. We can even ask for miracles, knowing they sometimes happen. But praying isn't enough.


God doesn't save the world by just beaming down graces from on high. When he decided to save the situation on earth, he came down here himself. God took flesh as a human being in Jesus and dealt with people face-to-face, on ground level. God then interacted with people physically, in and through his physical body. He spoke words, he touched, he smiled, he preached and taught, he argued, he showed the way by example.

During his life on earth Jesus healed only those who got close enough to see him, or approached to touching distance-unless he was asked to help by someone who did get within hailing range, like the centurion who asked him to cure his servant long-distance. (See Mark 8:5-13)


Jesus was a contact Savior, a hands-on healer. He wrote no books and gave no television talks. When people wanted to know where to find him he said, "Come and see:' When they wanted to learn how to live, he said, «Follow me:' To the world-weary and those beaten down by life he said, "Come to me." Jesus came to change life on this earth through human interaction with people. (See John 1:39; Matthew 19:21; 11:28)


If we don't interact with him humanly, there is very little he can do for us.


JESUS SAVES BY INTERACTION

It is through our interaction with other people that we get messed up-infected with distorted attitudes and values. So God chose to save us in the same way we got messed up. In Jesus, God came as a human being, in the flesh, to save us through physical, human words and actions that heal. He came to save us from the human words and actions that wounded us, from the effects of our human interaction with other people in society. From the distorted attitudes and values we picked up through our interaction with other people. From our "cultural conditioning:' He came to do it by showing us an alternate way. By living out before our eyes another set of attitudes and values.


This means that if we want Jesus to save us we have to interact with him. If we want him to save any particular thing we are doing from veering off to destructiveness, we have to interact with Jesus while we are doing that particular thing.


Because we have '(become Christ;' we are charged to be the Mes­siah - to let the Messiah live and act in us. Whatever we want Jesus to "save" in our lives or the lives of others, we have to let him do it by acting with us, in us, and through us when we ourselves are involved in the action or situation that needs to be saved.


This means we have to interact with him in our hearts in a way that lets him interact with others through our actions. As "Christ-bearers" we need to bear him into the marketplace, into our homes and family life, into our participation at church, into business and politics-into every activity and situation on this earth that needs to be "saved'' from destructiveness and distortion, mediocrity and meaninglessness.

The choice to interact with Christ in a way that lets him interact with others through us is the choice to live up to our baptismal anointing as Messiah.


Three practical ways to do this are:

  • Say the WIT prayer all day long. This keeps you conscious.

  • Ask yourself in every situation, "How would Jesus respond to this?"

  • Act. Have the courage to do what you think Jesus might be wanting to do in and through you, even when you are not certain. You will learn by trial and error.



Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry

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