In our prayer, we seek the face of Jesus. In our weakness, we depend on his mercy. In our searching, we ache to be found in his love for us. In the tragedies of our lives, we long to die to our selves and rise to new love in Christ. Our prayer is meant to pattern our lives in the dying and rising of Christ Jesus. This is the message of today’s gospel (John 12:20-33), that unless a grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies it remains just a grain of wheat. Our prayer must find its home in the pattern of Jesus, the cross our only hope.
I want to draw your attention on this Fifth Sunday of Lent to “The Jesus Prayer”. Here is one version of the Jesus Prayer that I learned many years ago.
“Jesus, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me a sinner.”
This ancient prayer is meant to be prayed from our lips. When it is prayed over many years, our hearts and souls begin to pattern life in this message. Our souls take over the prayer and we begin to live the message even without our awareness. Our lips are called to pray this prayer during the Lenten season. I invite you to learn more about this prayer from the early Church.
The painting today is reminiscent of a mosaic from the early Church. I painted this piece on Friday. Seek the face of Jesus always. Please learn more about the simplicity of “The Jesus Prayer.”