Daily Meditation: "Very early in the morning, before daylight, Jesus went off to a lonely place where He prayed"
Gospel text (Mk 1,29-39):
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.
"Very early in the morning, before daylight, Jesus went off to a lonely place where He prayed"
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.
Fr. Josep Mª MASSANA i Mola OFM
Audio: Wednesday 1st in Ordinary Time