When praying with today’s Gospel, my heart dwells on the phrase, “falling to his knees.” I consider the connotations of the word “falling”:  a weakening, abatement, and vulnerability. However, through prayer, I see its deeper implications of strength, rising, and love. Jesus’ “falling to his knees” in the Garden of Gethsemane strengthened his heart and prepared him before the night of  the Crucifixion. Jesus’ most vulnerable moments were the greatest acts of strength and love.

To hear the Lord and feel the movements of the Spirit within our hearts, we open ourselves up to vulnerability before Christ, a falling-on-our-knees experience. In the Gospel today, we see that openness of the heart is the gateway to forgiveness and strength between the master and servant. We, too, must remember to acknowledge the falling-on-our-knees with our neighbors to transform the falling into rising and the vulnerability into forgiveness, strength and love.

—Lisa M. Sroka coordinates retreats and designs marketing materials for Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, IL. She is a Chicago vocalist and alum of Loyola University Chicago.