7 September 2017
Our first reading in today’s Liturgy is from St. Paul to the Colossians. It picks up on a major theme in the Bible – the importance of intercessory prayer:
“Ever since the day we heard about you, we have never failed to pray for you, and what we ask God is that through perfect wisdom and spiritual understanding you should reach the fullest knowledge of his will. So you will be able to lead the kind of life which the Lord expects of you, a life acceptable to him in all its aspects”
Prayer is not Christian if it is not intercessory. Now that sounds a bit over the top. But hang on. If prayer is not about others, their needs, their salvation, their happiness, etc., then what is it about? So, there’ll be no retraction!
It might be helpful to rely on the Catechism of the Catholic Church here, as it is really quite helpful.
First, the point is made that Jesus himself is the great intercessor for sinners by his act of love on the Cross. Then the Holy Spirit enters us, arousing us to intercession for the “saints” – that is, us who believe:
Intercession is a prayer of petition which leads us to pray as Jesus did. He is the one intercessor with the Father on behalf of all men and women, especially sinners.
He is “able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Hebrews 7:25).
The Holy Spirit “himself intercedes for us . . . and intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26-27). (CCC 2634)
It is good to think and feel in this way: people need us; they need our love; they need our support and affection; they need our prayer.