If we feel we cannot pray, the pope says, we can entrust ourselves to Jesus and make his prayer our own.
When we feel too sluggish to pray, or too unworthy, we should ask Jesus’ prayer to become our own prayer, suggests Pope Francis.
The Holy Father continued with his Wednesday catecheses on the theme of prayer today, now turning to learn from the Son of God.
With simplicity, he asserted, “And Jesus prayed.”
Pope Francis considered the lesson from Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan.
Jesus is the Righteous One, He is not a sinner. But He wished to come down to us, sinners, and He prays with us, and when we pray He is with us, praying; He is with us because He is in heaven, praying for us. Jesus always prays with His people, He always prays with us: always. We never pray alone, we always pray with Jesus. He does not stay on the opposite side of the river – “I am righteous, you are sinners” – to mark His difference and distance from the disobedient people, but rather He immerses His feet in the same purifying waters. He acts as if He were a sinner. And this is the greatness of God, Who sent His Son and annihilated Himself, and appears as a sinner.
The pope noted how the Catechism speaks of this, explaining “that this is the newness of the fullness of time. It says: ‘His filial prayer, which the Father awaits from His children, is finally going to be lived out by the only Son in His humanity, with and for men’ (no. 2599).
“Jesus prays with us. Let us keep this clear in our mind and in our heart: Jesus prays with us.”
In Jesus, the pope continued, “on the bank of the river Jordan, there is therefore all of humanity, with its unexpressed yearning for prayer.”
He pointed out how Luke’s gospel particularly highlights the “climate of prayer in which the baptism of Jesus took place”:
“Now when all the people were baptised, and when Jesus also had been baptised and was praying, the heaven was opened” (3:21). By praying, Jesus opens the door to the heavens, and the Holy Spirit descends from that breach.
And with the strength from knowing ourselves accompanied by Jesus, we can always pray, the pope said:
Therefore, if during an evening of prayer we feel sluggish and empty, if it seems to us that life has been completely useless, we must at that moment beg that Jesus’ prayer also become our own. “I cannot pray today, I don’t know what to do: I don’t feel like it, I am unworthy…” In that moment, it is necessary to entrust yourself to Him, that He may pray for us. He in this moment is before the Father, praying for us, He is the intercessor; He shows the wounds to the Father, for us. Let us trust in this, it is great. We will then hear, if we are trustful, we will then hear a voice from heaven, louder than the voice rising from the depths of ourselves, and we will hear this voice whispering words of tenderness: “You are God’s beloved, you are a son, you are the joy of the Father in heaven.” Just for us, for each one of us, echoes the word of the Father: even if we were rejected by all, sinners of the worst kind. Jesus did not descend into the waters of the Jordan for Himself, but for all of us. It was the entire people of God who went to the Jordan to pray, to ask for forgiveness, to receive that baptism of penance. […] Jesus gave us His own prayer, which is His loving dialogue with the Father. He gave it to us like a seed of the Trinity, which He wants to take root in our hearts. Let us welcome him! Let us welcome this gift, the gift of prayer. Always with Him. And we will not err.