Over the past few weeks and in the months to come, every Sunday, Jesus has been shinning the light of His Presence on our daily lives. In doing so, He is offering each of us the wonderful opportunity to both see and make the decision to take that next step in our life of prayer, that next step of allowing the fire of His love to fill and transform every aspect of our lives.

In order to inspire you to open your heart up to the light of His Presence, let’s listen to the testimony of the Apostles as they share their experiences of living their lives in the Presence of Jesus and the impact it had on their lives.

THE TEACHING OF THE OUR FATHER: When we were with Jesus those three years, we noticed that He was always at prayer, He was always in communion with His Father. He would rise in the middle of the night, He would wake up early in the morning and go off to a deserted place to speak with His Father and listen to His Father’s voice. And even when we were walking with Him throughout the Holy Land, the eyes of His soul were always directed to His Father. There was one time in particular when He simply stepped aside and entered into an intimate conversation with His Father. His prayer was so intense! We all felt the Presence of the Father and Holy Spirit as Jesus opened His heart up to Him. We were so struck by the beauty of His prayer that we asked Him: Lord, please teach us to pray! He turned towards us and taught us the “Our Father” prayer.

The impact of that experience on our lives was profound. We learned that our Father loves to hear our voices. He wants us to speak with Him. It isn’t enough to have random thoughts about God. He wants us to use our voices and words as we open our hearts to Him.

THE CALMING OF A STORM AT SEA: There was another time, when we were crossing the Sea of Galilee, and Jesus was so tired that He took a nap. He was exhausted because every day of His public ministry He was always pouring Himself out for love of us. Well, as He napped, a huge storm rolled in. The wind was ferocious and the waves began to fill our boat with water. We feared our own drowning and death! We didn’t know what to do. We turned to Jesus and woke Him. Wow! He stood up, spoke one word, and calmed the storm and the sea. We fell down on our knees and worshipped Him as He clearly revealed that He is the Son of God!

What we learned from that experience always had a lasting effect on our soul. We recognized that Jesus is always with us. He never abandons us. Though His presence doesn’t guarantee an easy, carefree life, our life will still be difficult. There will still be trials and storms that will rage. We learned that especially in those moments, we need to turn to Jesus and keep our eyes fixed on Him. We strive to place all our trust in Him. We strive to be confident and hopeful. When He decides, and He knows best, He will speak a word of power and authority over our lives and calm the storms that rage against us.

DINNER WITH MARTHA, MARY, AND LAZARUS: There were also those moments when Jesus would sit and enjoy the company and fellowship of His friends. We would just sit back and be amazed at how much Jesus enjoyed being in the company of His friends. Yes, He would speak to us about His Father and the Kingdom, but He would also delight in everyday conversations. He loved to look His friends in the eyes and confirm by His Presence and attention that He loved them and cared about them.

From these experiences, we understood that we should not only speak to Jesus when we have a need or concern. We are so blessed that we can turn to Jesus at all times and simply enjoy being in His presence. It’s a beautiful thing to simply sit down and be in His presence. As we experience His gaze of love fixed upon us, we look back with love and faith upon His countenance.

In next week’s bulletin article, we’ll return to the lap of Holy Mother Church and listen to her as she shows us how the life of prayer opens our hearts to these very same experiences of the Apostles.

Wishing everyone a blessed week, let’s keep each other in prayer.

Fr. Michael