Lord, let today be different for me. What if I really do pause throughout my day to speak with you. Help me to trust that time spent in your presence is indeed the most important moments of my day. Give me strength not to be tempted by the urgencies of the day that cause me to put off those moments with you. In your presence I find the source of all purpose. To be my best self I must stay close to you. Help me to be mindful of your intense interest in every facet of my life. With gratitude for your love, I move forward in my day. – The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!
Today’s first reading is the only time in the Church’s lectionary that we have a reading from the Letter of St. Jude, a tiny little book of just 25 verses. But in this short letter, the apostle Jude makes a beautiful exhortation: “Build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in the love of God and wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.”
Prayer in the Holy Spirit is the key to living this exhortation. Prayer builds us up in our “most holy faith,” nourishing and strengthening us. There are two sides to faith. On the one hand, faith is knowing what we believe, which we build with study. But more importantly, faith is assent and adherence to God’s truth, which is built by experiencing the One who is Truth through personal prayer. Prayer is also how we remain in the love of God. Prayer is just time spent dwelling in the loving presence of God, in an intimate communion with Love Himself.
When we pray “in the Holy Spirit,” we emphasize this personal, loving bond with God, for the Holy Spirit is the bond of Love between the Father and the Son. Through prayer in the Holy Spirit, we can actually enter into the intimate communion of that love. Finally, in prayer, we wait for and receive the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that gives us eternal life. Prayer is in fact the key to our existence as Christians, our way to enter the love of God in the intimate communion of the Trinity. We can always pray in the Holy Spirit, not just once a week or once a day, but in dozens of little moments throughout the day when we can place ourselves again in the love of God.
Only a short letter of St. Jude survives, but that makes these words all the more precious: “Build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in the love of God and wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.” —Fr. Matthew Monnig, S.J.Please share the Good Word with your friends!
Beloved, remember the words spoken beforehand by the Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. Build yourselves up in your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in the love of God and wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. On those who waver, have mercy; save others by snatching them out of the fire; on others have mercy with fear, abhorring even the outer garment stained by the flesh. To the one who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you unblemished and exultant, in the presence of his glory, to the only God, our savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord be glory, majesty, power, and authority from ages past, now, and for ages to come. Amen.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.Please share the Good Word with your friends!