2016. január 12., kedd

Aerials of grace (Mt 9,18-34)

When we pray, Christ is perceiving our prayer. He 'senses' it already before our words reach him. As if sensitive aerial, he listens to us, fine tuned to this very particular way of communication: prayer seeking Christ's presence.

'If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole', prays the woman with an issue of blood for twelve years. 'My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live', says a certain ruler. 'Two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou son of David, have mercy on us.'

These examples confirm that Jesus is surrounded by a space of faith, reaching out to him, at its centre. He sensitively perceives the faith of these people, 'a faith asking'.

Indeed, one should see prayer as an all-encompassing mystery. Jesus' birth and his Cross; his Baptism in river Jordan, his Pentecostal arrival in the Spirit – have set up a sensitive intra-, and at the same time trans-historical 'aerial'. As our Gospel story shows, he already communicates with these people's needs. What is an unexpected event for their environment ('the bystanders'), it is a long evolving dialogue and bond of trust with the persons to be healed.

The thirteenth century icon from Mount Sinai, St Catherine's Monastery, through its combination of scenes of the Nativity, and above it the Crucifixion, express this 'aerial' charged with divine attention. The bright stars surrounding the Cross and the crib tell of this space of living connection when words travel unseen.



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