Even though so much is happening in the world that seems out of our control and fretful, one thing is for sure: Jesus Christ is alive! Jesus is alive and he desires to bring healing, peace, salvation, and mercy into our lives every single day. These are the last words of Jesus recorded in Matthew’s Gospel: I am with you always, until the end of the age (Mt. 28:20). Comforting words, indeed! Jesus is with us. And, Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8). If we learn anything about Jesus in the Gospels, it is that he loves to heal us, bless us, and call us to faith and repentance for salvation. Jesus continues this ministry through the Body of Christ, the Church (Mk. 16:20). And, on November 22nd, after the 11:00AM Mass, there will be a chance to experience this ministry of Jesus that continues here at St. Francis de Sales.
After the 11:00AM Mass on Sunday, November 22nd, there healing teams will be available for anyone to receive prayer for healing. You do not need to be a parishioner to be prayed with and you do not need to have gone to the 11:00AM Mass in order to receive prayer. And, those prayed for don’t need to be Catholic. This is an opportunity to do what Jesus commanded us to do: heal the sick, bless the broken hearted, and pray with those desiring more of God’s love in their life. But, what can someone ask prayers for from the prayer teams?
Whether you have a back ache or tooth ache, a cancer diagnosis or family trouble, whatever your intentions may be, the prayer teams are available for prayer with you. Maybe you want to bring a loved one to join them in being prayed over by the prayer team. Maybe there’s simply a desire for more of the Holy Spirit in your life. Whatever it might be, this is a chance to come forward for prayer. And, no matter what happens in that time of prayer and intercession, you can always come again the following month. Every fourth Sunday of the month there will be prayer teams available after the 11:00AM Mass. Jesus tells us: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be open to you” (Mt. 7:7). If we go to the Greek in that verse, we could more literally translate what Jesus is saying as this: Ask and keep asking; seek and keep seeking; knock at the door and keep knocking at the door and it will be open to you. Sometimes we need more than one time of prayer, and that is okay. Jesus shows up every time where two or three gather in his name (Mt. 18:20). So, we show up and let the Holy Spirit lead us and count our blessings.
Sometimes people are hesitant to ask for prayers because they compare their suffering to the worst possible scenario and feel selfish when comparing their suffering to that. But, Jesus cares about you. Sometimes people think it’s prideful to ask for help. But, really, it is the virtue of humility that admits that we can do nothing on our own. That’s how Jesus lived (Jn. 5:19). Asking for prayer is actually the more humble and selfless thing to do. For one, in asking for prayer we are admitting and witnessing to our need for God’s help in our lives. And, when we ask for prayer we are giving others a chance to offer charity. This is a win, win. Jesus never shamed anyone for coming to him asking for prayers. Instead, Jesus turned to each person, spoke words of blessing, and healed them. Maybe we don’t see as dramatic a life of miracles as Jesus, but we have to start somewhere. And, no matter what happens, whatever we see or do not seen, we know Jesus is faithful, that God is at work, and that the blessing of our Heavenly Father awaits us.
I pray that God will bless you and bring you peace in the days ahead. As you plan out your Sunday for November 22nd, consider the opportunity of being prayed with after the 11:00AM Mass.
Fr. Jacob Bearer