Lk 6: 12-19
When I was ordained as a transitional Deacon and later again as Priest, there is one promise that was repeated. It was not celibacy (at the diaconate) but the promise to pray for the people of God. I took this quite literally early on. I prayed for the people; I would name all those who asked for my prayers, who were in my life. It sometimes was a LONG list. Sort of like Jesus coming off the mountain in the gospel passage and seeing a vast crowd from all over in need of healing.
Then something changed. I realized eventually that I was telling God was to do for these people….and that was it. That this was not the intent of the prayer. In this gospel, Jesus names his apostles, those sent out, to carry out the work. When I pray for the people, it is to ask God to change me, to make me his servant so that I can help those in need. This is not something for me to sit around and watch what God will do for the people, rather it is God sending ME to work.
Ir really changed my prayer attitude, and my insight into ministry. Now, I do have to keep in mind that I am one man, and there is only so much I can do. But, I also read in this Gospel Jesus appointed 12, not 1, but 12. We, all the priests and laity, we must work together as Church, to be Church, to offer the healing to all who are in need.