Contemplative, communal intercession
is our primary ministry. In the last teaching we spoke of contemplative prayer.
In this teaching the focus will be on the ministry of intercession. Intercessory prayer is prayer to the Father,
in union with Jesus, led and empowered by the Holy Spirit for others. In
the Roman Missal of the Catholic Church, one of the quiet prayers of the priest
before communion time says in part:
"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the
living God, who, by the will of the Father and the work of the Holy
Spirit, through your death gave life to the world..." (Roman Missal, p.
is the life-giving, Spirit-led and Spirit filled prayer of Jesus in the
presence of the Father. This dying of the Lamb is both the Father's will and
the Spirit's work. It involves the entire Trinity, for it is about love.
Authentic love is always for others, and it is modeled after the love shared
among the three divine persons of the Trinity. This is the ministry of the Lamb
who takes away the sin of the world--The Lamb who was slain. This ministry
comes forth from the wellspring of divine Love that flows from the pierced
heart of Jesus.
Intercession is very much a ministry
of the mystery of "Christ in you" (Col. 1:27). As we allow Jesus to continue
to live within us we enter into his ministry of intercession. The Lamb
comes again to live within us to continue his priestly ministry. It is the
mystical, priestly ministry of Jesus. It is his priestly ministry of connecting
humanity with God, of bringing about reconciliation. The Lamb continues within
us to reconcile humanity with God (reconciling heaven and earth) from within
us. United with the Lamb our life and lifestyle reach out to reunite all humanity
Jesus desires to live out the mystery
of his Incarnation again and to take up his cross but now within us. He still
remains the Word made flesh. Intercession is the 'flesh and blood' ministry
of the Lamb, and it cannot take place anywhere except through humanity. As
we allow Jesus to live in us, he continues to live out his mystery of
redemption again, now through us. He still has access to the Father but now it
is in, with and through us.
Jesus takes us in Spirit to where he
is at the right hand of the Father to intercede with him in the Father's
presence. Jesus chooses to need our human bodies "to make intercession" at the
Father's right hand. With intercessory prayer we allow Jesus to pray to the
Father from deep within us. We participate as intimately as possible in his
ministry by offering spiritual sacrifices with and through the Lamb.
Intercession brings other people into holiness and union with God because it
brings them to God.
Everything about intercession is
for others because it is the ministry of the Lamb, whose life, death and
resurrection have been for the sake of others. We are victim lamb
intercessors, life-bearers, so that others may have life. As such we often
become the victims of our own intercession as Jesus was ( see John 17) because
true to the word of God, "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's
life for one's friends" (John 15:13).
there any ways in which I struggle to allow Jesus--rather than myself--to live
within me ?
I recall a situation where I became a victim of my own intercessory prayer?
Any scripture from the text; Rom. 12:1; Eph. 2:18; Heb.
TIME TO EXPIATE"
PLEASE VISIT "THIS WEEK'S BURNING ISSUES" ON THE "EVENTS" PAGE
Remember that we must be a praying Church: Am I praying for our Church
and our world?