It seems there are so many responsibilities in life whether you are a student in school or just beginning your chosen career, perhaps getting married and starting a family. Caring for children is an on-going, life-long commitment as once a parent, always a parent. Life it seems gets busier and busier and even though we have in many cases chosen these responsibilities and truly enjoy them, they all take an incredible amount of energy. When we have a special project or set a goal with a specified time line we can sometimes feel overwhelmed by the need to keep going. Sometimes in the midst of it all we long for some peace and quiet and perhaps we long even more for time alone with God. I think it was like that for Jesus in the account from Mark’s Gospel that we heard today. Jesus, with his disciples, was actively engaged in evangelizing people. They were moving from town to town, Jesus was preaching in numerous temples, the disciples along with the townspeople were bringing people to be healed and cured to the man many now understood as the Messiah, though not all yet understood him as the Son of God. Mark tells of how Jesus awoke early one morning and “went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.” Jesus, Son of God, needed to get away from the crowds that were pressing down on him. He must have been exhausted, any one of us would have been. And what did he go to do? To pray; to spend time with his Father in prayer.
How often amidst the busyness and mounting responsibilities in life do you go away to be alone and pray? We must. For it is in prayer, whether that be petitioning God, thanking and praising him or simply sitting quietly in his presence that we draw strength to live our lives. It is in time alone with God that we can surrender ourselves knowing that we will be lovingly cared for, comforted, renewed and strengthened. We all need it. Our very lives - our Christian lives depend upon the time we take to nurture and care for our personal relationship with God. How can we think for a moment that we can do without it, if Jesus could not?
Let us make an effort this week to step aside from the busyness, from the great weight of responsibilities and find time and a quiet place to be alone with God. Most often it is not simply provided for us, it is something that we must decide to do, like Jesus did when he went to that deserted place. Find your place this week and make a conscience decision to do so on a more regular basis. We can only imagine how our lives might be enriched!
Have a wonderful week.
October 17, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC