Thursday of the 4th week of Lent.
Readings: Exodus 32:7-14; Psalm 106:19-23; John 5:31-47
Today we are reminded of the power of intercessory prayer. St. Thomas Aquinas, in his Summa Theologica (II.II.Q.83A.5-8), addressed the question of whether our prayers really matter. If God is all good, all powerful, and all knowing, then why would our prayers make a difference? He concluded that in fact our prayers are sometimes the means by which God wills for something to happen!
Jesus includes us in the work of salvation, not only that of our own souls but others as well. We need to share the Gospel in word and example like St. John the Baptist in the Gospel. But we also need to work for the conversion of others through praying for them. In Exodus, the people had turned against God but Moses’ prayer spared them and gave them an opportunity for conversion. John the Baptist prayed and fasted in an effort to prepare hearts for the savior and Jesus said that some things can only be overcome by prayer and fasting. (cf Mark 9:29)
Jesus made the ultimate saving sacrifice for all mankind and He is the source of all graces of healing and transformation. At the same time, He also instituted the Church as His Body and with His sacraments to be the living streams of His grace by the gift of His Holy Spirit. During Lent, our added prayer, fasting, and works of love can be especially fruitful if we offer them to Christ as a prayer for the conversion and deeper conversion of souls.
~ Written by Angela M. Jendro © 2020