2nd Sunday in Lent
A bit like the idea of Jesus being tempted last week, the idea of Jesus praying might seem strange. Jesus is God – how can he pray, to whom does he pray? But of course just as it makes sleeping and eating necessary so the Human nature Jesus has united to His divine nature makes praying necessary. It is part of a human nature to seek to know and love and serve God and prayer is part of that. The difference is that when according to my human nature I pray it is Fr Ian, a human person who is praying. When according to his human nature Jesus prays it is God the Son a Divine person who prays. This is the heart of the Transfiguration. Within the mystery of the One God the Son prays to the Father, the Father speaks to the Son and both are enveloped in the Cloud which is the presence of the Holy Spirit. Jesus at prayer reveals what and who he is, the fulfilment of the law and the prophets (Moses and Elijah) the redeemer who must pass through the cross to resurrection and bring his human nature, his human body to transfigured glory, the one to whom we must listen.
Our human nature has been repaired and recreated through baptism and the sacraments which make us sharers in Jesus’ passion death and risen glory. We are prone to fall but in his mercy Our Saviour has given us the sacrament of confession to repair the damage of sin so that nothing should stand in the way of our human nature’s true capability. That capability is to attain God. We are capable of knowing God, loving God, serving God and I, that human person which does these things will never be happy until, according to my nature I know God, I love God, I speak with God. And the path to this as Jesus reveals is prayer, prayer in union with Jesus.
Much can distract us from prayer – it takes time and effort. – it means living a good life, that is keeping the commandments, it means accepting that happiness will not be found in things of earth, which we proclaim by our fasting in Lent, and it means acting always with our hope and expectation in the eternal life to come. St. Paul says just this – follow my rule of life, don’t make food or that which is shameful your God, our home is in heaven, wait with hope.
Prayer is so important, at the very least Sunday Mass, regular confession and morning and night prayers.
We are all called to be saints, that is to go to heaven; we are all called to know God, to love him, to serve him and to be happy with him. We are called to pray according to our human nature as Our Lord prayed according to his. If we make the time we will even on earth enjoy a taste of the glory that awaits us in heaven.