Monday, September 16, 2019

Pray for Leaders

Reflection for Monday of the 24th Week in Ordinary Time Year I
(1Tim 2:1-8; Lk 7:1-10)
We continue the reflection from last week on Paul's letter to Timothy. Today he talks about the importance of making intercession for leaders. Paul seems to be very much aware that leaders can disorient people's lives. So he insists we pray for all men in positions of authority “That we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way.” Such prayer is good and finds acceptance before God, “Who desires all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth.” Paul asks all to pray in every place, “lifting holy hands without anger or quarrelling.”

Then Luke’s version of the story of Centurion shows a leader who intercedes for his subject. On the other hand, the elders of the Jews intercede for him before Jesus saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he built us our synagogue.” There is exchange of prayers and goodwill where there is love and humility. And Jesus moved to answer the Centurion...

Before He could get the house, this Roman Official sent a message to him saying, “Lord do not trouble yourself,  for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof...But say the word, and let my servant be healed.” Jesus marvelled at such depth of faith expressed by the foreigner. His faith went beyond the miraculous power of Jesus, which was what He needed at that time. He believed in the Person of Jesus, and quickly surrendered his desire to have his servant healed by that act of faith. “For I am a man set under authority...and I say to one, ‘Go,' and he goes; another, ‘come,’ and he comes.” By this expression, the Centurion submitted his desire to have his servant healed to the authority of Jesus. He believed in the person, who holds the command to heal. Thus he equally became a leader of Jesus, for Jesus commended his faith. “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”

This is the kind of faith with which we offer intercession for our leaders that may not lead us away from God. Jesus is the one mediator between God and men. Let leaders and their subjects focus on him, relying on His command that we might be healed and live in peace.

Fr Jude Chinwenwa Nwachukwu,  C.Ss.R
Ss Peter and Paul Catholic Church,
Tedi-Muwo, Lagos.
Monday September 16th, 2019.
Memorial of Ss Cornelius & Cyprian.