"You do not know what you are asking." —Mark 10:38
The Lord commands us to "confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and favor and to find help in time of need" (Heb 4:16). When we do this, however, we should try to understand the implications of what we are asking (Mk 10:38). If we ask for many to be justified and saved, we are also asking that we share in Christ's redemptive sufferings (Is 53:11; Col 1:24). If we pray for the will of the Lord to be accomplished through us, we are also asking for the grace to give our lives as offerings for sin (Is 53:10). If we ask to be great and do great things for God's kingdom, we are also praying to be the servants, even the slaves, of all (Mk 10:43-44).
When we pray the "Our Father," the general intercessions at Mass, or other prayers, the Lord will question us before answering our prayers. He asks: "Can you drink the cup I shall drink or be baptized in the same bath of pain as I?" (Mk 10:38) How will we answer? Prayer and pain often go together. Look at Jesus, the crucified Intercessor. Considering the fact that prayer is often done in the shadow of the cross, it's no wonder that so few pray seriously and powerfully. Do we love others so much that we will not only pray for them but also suffer with Jesus for them? Will you drink the cup?
Prayer: Jesus, may I spend an hour in prayer daily even if I have to pray as You did in the Garden of Gethsemani prior to Calvary.
Promise: "The Son of Man has not come to be served but to serve — to give His life in ransom for the many." —Mk 10:45
Praise: Praise Jesus, crucified and risen Lord! Thank You for today's celebration of Your resurrection from the dead.
Reference: (Advent is approaching. Help prepare the way of the Lord by ordering our leaflet, An Isaiah Advent, and our Simple Reading Guide to the Prophetic Books.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, March 22, 1997
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 26, 1997