** "2. WE, HOWEVER, ARE CHRISTIANS, AND THEREFORE WE MUST PRAY AS
"For the Christian, in fact, prayer acquires a particular characteristic, which completely changes its innermost nature and innermost value. The Christian is a disciple of Jesus; he is one who really believes that Jesus is the Word Incarnate, the Son of God who came among us on this earth.
"As a man, the life of Jesus was a continual prayer, a continual act of worship and love of the Father and since the maximum expression of prayer is sacrifice, the summit of Jesus’ prayer is the Sacrifice of the Cross, anticipated by the Eucharist at the Last Supper and handed down by means of the Holy Mass throughout the centuries.
"Therefore, the Christian knows that his prayer is that of Jesus; every prayer of his starts from Jesus; it is He who prays in us, with us, for us. All those who believe in God, pray; but the Christian prays in Jesus Christ: Christ is our prayer!
"3. FINALLY, WE MUST ALSO PRAY BECAUSE WE ARE FRAIL AND GUILTY.
“It must be humbly and realistically recognized that we are poor creatures, confused in ideas, tempted by evil, frail and weak, in continual need of inner strength and consolation. Prayer gives the strength for great ideas, to maintain faith, charity, purity and generosity. Prayer gives the courage to emerge from indifference and guilt, if unfortunately one has yielded to temptation and weakness. Prayer gives light to see and consider the events of one’s own life and of history in the salvific perspective of God and eternity. Therefore, do not stop praying! Let not a day pass without your having prayed a little! Prayer is a duty, but it is also a great joy, because it is a dialogue with God through Jesus Christ! Every Sunday, Holy Mass: if it is possible for you, sometimes during the week. Every day, morning and evening prayers, and at the most suitable moments!” (John Paul II, “Audience with Young People”, 14 March 1979).
- Jesus combines His teaching about perseverance in prayer with a serious warning about the need to remain firm in the faith: faith and prayer go hand in hand. St. Augustine comments, “In order to pray, let us believe; and for our faith not to weaken, let us pray. Faith causes prayer to grow, and when prayer grows our faith is strengthened”
Our Lord has promised His Church that it will remain true to its mission until the end of time (cf. Matthew 28:20); the Church, therefore, cannot go off the path of the true faith. But not everyone will remain faithful: some will turn their backs on the faith of their own accord. This is the mystery which St. Paul describes as “the rebellion” (2 Thessalonians 2:3) and which Jesus Christ announces on other occasions (cf. Matthew 24:12-13). In this way our Lord warns us, to help us stay watchful and persevere in the faith and in prayer even though people around us fall away.
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States. We encourage readers to purchase
The Navarre Bible for personal study. See Scepter Publishers for details.