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PSALM 19:1-4

LUKE 6:12-19

Prior to today's Gospel reading in which Jesus called his disciples, and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles, Jesus had already delivered his inaugural sermon in his hometown of Nazareth where he told the congregation that the Spirit of the Lord is upon him and he goes ahead to mention what he would do courtesy of the

Spirit of the Lord being upon him - Luke 4:16-30.

Apart from giving this inaugural sermon, Jesus also healed a man with an evil spirit, he also healed many people and he continued preaching in the synagogues and in the midst of all these ,he was rejected at Nazareth where he had been brought up.

Under these circumstances we are told that Jesus went out into the hills to pray; and all night he continued in prayer to God. It means that while praying, Jesus was not preaching or healing or moving from one place to another in order to fulfill his mission. When he was praying, he just concentrated on praying, nothing else.

We can therefore deduce from his time and intensity of prayer that praying is a moment of pulling away from daily common and important activities of faith so as to have what we call " me time" and God's time in relation to the circumstances that surround one's faith.

We live in a very busy world spiritually and in other aspects of life and this " busyness" may prevent us from having our own time with God in prayer. Maybe we think that we need to engage in the activities and we may feel bad if we do not.

Let us notice and remember that Jesus has decided to pray at that moment and not to preach or move to places doing good to people.

Is it possible that we can be less prayerful due to the urge and rush to accomplish faith related activities?

We have not been told the context of Jesus' prayer but we have heard that after praying, Jesus chose twelve apostles and then came down the hill and continued to meet the needs of the people by healing them and casting out demons.

There is a connection between his prayer and his choice of the twelve apostles and him continuing to heal people. The twelve, let us remember, are the ones to continue with his mission once he ascends into heaven and what a good example he has shown them because you cannot just pick anyone for an important role without guidance from above and you can't just heal people without relying on power from above.

Today we learn from Jesus that the important issues of faith and of life need deep thinking and prayer.

By praying in a quiet place, in your own hill after our faith related engagements, we are able to block out our " busyness" that keeps us fully occupied and thus open our hearts to God who will then illuminate our darkened world. Why? Prior to praying alone all night, Jesus had encountered stiff opposition but he ignored it and chose to pray to God. Today the Word of God is offering us the opportunity to take a break from our daily routine then think, pray to God, choose what is important and then continue doing the good you used to do before after coming down from the hill of prayer.


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