We should take consolation and strength from the certainty that, no matter what, Jesus is before the Father praying for me.
We must always keep this in mind: Jesus prays for me, He is praying now before the Father.
Pope Francis urged us to remember Jesus’ praying for us as he continued his series on prayer at the June 2 general audience.
The fact that Jesus prays for us before the Father is one of the great certainties of Pope Francis, who has often reflected on this during his pontificate.
At this audience, he looked at various Scripture passages to emphasize how Jesus is praying for us even when we’ve sinned.
Our Lord shows the Father “the wounds He carried with Him” to heaven, “to show the Father the price of our salvation, it is the love that He holds for us,” the Pope said.
…in this moment, each one of us, let us think: In this moment, is Jesus praying for me? Yes. This is a great certainty that we must have.
[Follow the Sacred Heart Novena with the Pope’s mediations on the Wounds of Jesus.]
Lessons in Scripture
— “Jesus chooses the apostles after a night of prayer. It seems that there is no criterion in this choice other than prayer, the dialogue of Jesus with the Father.”
— “The Apostles sometimes become a cause of concern for Him, but Jesus, as He received them from the Father, after prayer, thus He carries them in His heart, even in their errors, even when they fall.”
— “At the Last Supper he says to him: ‘Simon, Simon, behold’ – the word we heard at the beginning of the audience – ‘Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail …'”
— “… the great turning points of Jesus’ mission are always preceded by prayer, but not just in passing, by intense, prolonged prayer.” (Here, Pope Francis noted how Jesus was praying before he asked the Apostles, “Who do you say that I am?”)
— “… this anticipated manifestation of the glory of Jesus [at the Transfiguration] took place in prayer, while the Son was immersed in communion with the Father and fully consented to His will of love, to His plan of salvation.”
We can always count on Him
With this “quick journey through the Gospel,” the Pope said, “we learn that Jesus not only wants us to pray as He prays, but assures us that, even if our attempts at prayer are completely vain and ineffective, we can always count on His prayer.”
Regarding Peter’s failure and Christ’s prayer for him, the Pope emphasized that Jesus continues praying for us even when we sin.
It is impressive to know that at that moment, during the time of weakness, Jesus’ love does not cease. “But father, if I am in mortal sin, does Jesus love me?” – “Yes” – “And does Jesus continue to pray for me?” – “Yes” – “But if I have done the worst things, and more, committed so many sins … does Jesus continue [to pray]?” – “Yes.”
Jesus’ love, Jesus’ prayer for each one of us does not cease, it does not cease, but rather becomes more intense, and we are at the centre of his prayer!
The Holy Father insisted that we must find consolation in this awareness. He told the story of a bishop who was going through a “very, very, very great trial, in which all was in darkness.” The bishop saw in the basilica a phrase written, “I, Peter, will pray for you.”
And this gave him strength and consolation. And this happens every time that any of us knows that Jesus is praying for him or for her. Jesus prays for us. In this moment, in this very moment.
Do this memory exercise, repeat this. When there is a difficulty, when you feel the orbital pull of distractions: Jesus is praying for me.
But father, is this true? It is true! He said it Himself. Let us not forget that what sustains each of us in life is Jesus’ prayer for every one of us, with our name and surname, before the Father, showing Him the wounds that are the price of our salvation.
When our prayer is weak
All of this, the Pope reflected, is a consolation when our own prayer is weak.
Even if our prayers were only stuttering, if they were compromised by a wavering faith, we must never cease to trust in Him: I do not know how to pray but He prays for me. Supported by Jesus’ prayer, our timid prayers rest on eagle wings and soar up to Heaven.
Do not forget: Jesus is praying for me. Now? Now. In the moment of trial, in the moment of sin, even in that sin, Jesus is praying for me with so much love.