At Wednesday’s General Audience at the Vatican, concluding his cycle on catechesis on prayer, Pope Francis focused on the theme, “The Paschal prayer of Jesus for us.”
In his reflection, the pope recalled that in his last days and hours before his Passion and death on the cross, Jesus was “fully immersed in prayer.” In the garden on Gethsemane and on the cross, Jesus entered into a dialogue with God, addressing Him as “Abba,” father.
Jesus prayed for us on the cross
And in the three hours on the cross, the pope, said, Jesus prayed for us:
“It is the most ardent prayer, because on the cross Jesus is the absolute intercessor: He prays for others, He prays for everyone, even for those who have condemned Him, even though no-one apart from a poor delinquent takes His side. Everyone was against Him or indifferent, only that criminal recognized the power. “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Lk 23: 34).”
“The prayer of Jesus is intense, the prayer of Jesus is unique, and is also becomes the model for our prayer. Jesus prayed for everyone: He even prayed for me, for each one of you. Every one of you can say: “Jesus, on the cross, prayed for me.” He prayed. Jesus can say to every one of us: “I prayed for you at the Last Supper, and on the wood of the Cross,” he said.
“Even in the most painful of our sufferings, we are never alone. The prayer of Jesus is with us,” Pope Francis told the Audience.
“The most beautiful thing to remember”
The pope concluded his final catechesis on prayer with a message of hope and a reminder that Jesus prayed for all of us on the cross, and that he continues to pray for us today:
And this seems to me the most beautiful thing to remember. This is the final catechesis of this cycle on prayer: remember the grace that we do not only pray, but that, so to speak, we have been “prayed for,” we have already been received in Jesus’ dialogue with the Father, in communion with the Holy Spirit. Jesus prays for me: each one of us can take this to heart. We must not forget. Even in the worst moments. We are already welcomed into Jesus’ dialogue with the Father in the communion of the Holy Spirit. We were willed by Christ Jesus, and even in the hour of His passion, death and resurrection, everything was offered for us. And so, with prayer and with life, there remains only to have courage and hope, and with this courage and hope, to to feel the prayer of Jesus strongly and to keep on going: so that our life may be one of giving glory to God in the knowledge that He prays for me to the Father, that Jesus prays for me.