As soon as Jesus and his disciples left the synagogue, Jesus went to the home of Simon and Andrew with James and John. As Simon's mother-in-law was sick in bed with fever, they immediately told Him about her. Jesus went to her and taking her by the hand, raised her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.
That evening at sundown, people brought to Jesus all the sick and those who had evil spirits: the whole town was pressing around the door. Jesus healed many who had various diseases, and drove out many demons; but he did not let them speak, for they knew who he was.
Very early in the morning, before daylight, Jesus went off to a lonely place where He prayed. Simon and the others went out, too, searching for him; and when they found him they said, «Everyone is looking for you». Then Jesus answered, «Let's go to the nearby villages so that I may preach there too; for that is why I came». So Jesus set out to preach in all the synagogues throughout Galilee; he also cast out demons.
Many of us like to be in the light, be illumined by the grace of God, accomplishing the divine will, in our daily life. Though this desire is holy and wonderful, we refuse at the same time, to adventure into the night, into solitude and contemplation, pain and suffering. Sadly, it’s here great saints were formed and transformed. We find Jesus, after the day’s events doing good, getting physically into the fatigue, willingly enters into the night, to be alone in solitude, with the Father, in contemplation.
When all go back to their home, Jesus enters just like anybody else, enters where He has to be, to be with the Father. Samuel, this little boy, who will turn into a great prophet, is called in the night, in a very difficult moment of life, both personal (without the parents) and social. Just like him, we too, fail in our discernment, and run back to great people, (for the matter event saints) without realising that the Lord calls us personally, for a mission which He dearly loves to entrust to us, where we are at ease.
It’s here we will ignore the human glory (everyone is looking for you) and go beyond the visible realities (everything seems to be falling in line), towards accomplishing the mission that the Lord has entrusted to us (for that’s why I came). God may not have given us the grace of healing physical ailments, but we still can heal the hearts, listen to people without judging them, and be with them without being able to help them materially. Shall we imitate Jesus, by holding the hand of the people those who are in need of us and raise them towards God?
Action of the day: Pray, ‘Lord speak, thy servant listens.’
«Very early in the morning, before daylight, Jesus went off to a lonely place where He prayed»
Fr. Josep Mª MASSANA i Mola OFM
Today, we are clearly shown how Jesus split his working hours. On one hand He prayed and, on the other, He consecrated time to his mission of praying with words and deeds. Contemplation and Action. Prayer and Work. Being with God while amongst men.
We indeed see Jesus dedicated in body and soul to his task as Messiah and Savior: He cures the sick, as Saint Peter's mother in law and many others; He comforts the sad ones, drives out demons and preaches. People bring him the ailing and those with evil spirits. And they all want to hear his words. His disciples tell him: «Everyone is looking for you» (Mk 1:37). More often than not He surely had an exhausting activity that did not give him even time to breathe. But, at the same time, Jesus also had to look for some lonely place where He could pray: «Very early in the morning, before daylight, Jesus went off to a lonely place where He prayed» (Mk 1:35). In other Gospels we can also find Jesus devoted to praying in different hours and even at night. He knew how to distribute his time, so that his working days would have a proper balance between work and prayer.
We often say: —I have no time! We are so busy with our homework, our professional activity, the countless tasks in our agenda... So, quite often, we believe we should be relieved from our daily prayers. We do a lot of important things, but often run the risk of forgetting the absolutely necessary one: prayer. We have to establish a balance to be able to do the former without neglecting the latter.
Saint Francis brings it up like that: «We must faithfully and devotedly work, without extinguishing the spirit of the holy prayer and devotion which the worldly things must be submitted to».
Maybe we should organize ourselves a little bit better. Discipline us, by “domesticating” our time. Certainly, what is important must be done. But what is necessary should be an absolute must.