Sunday, February 8th, The Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
By Judy Morss
Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians 9:16-19, 22-23
Gospel according to Mark 1:29-39
Job is in torment; he is being tested by both God and Satan, as we are each day of our lives. Job cries out that his "days come to an end without hope...I shall not see happiness again." Yet when I read further in this chapter (v 8-12), Job has turned to prayer and receives the gift of humility and trust in God.
In Psalm 147, we are reminded that the Lord "heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds" and to "Praise the Lord, for he is good." This Psalm calls us to praise, to prayer.
As I reflected on the readings of today, my thoughts kept coming back to the gospel reading, Mark 1: 35. "Rising very early before dawn, He left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed." The New Testament is filled with so many instances of Jesus going off to pray. Sometimes, Jesus needed to get away from the crowds, to find peace and a chance to gather His thoughts. Other times, he needed to spend time with His Father.
As I think about the solace found in going off to pray in a quiet place, I recognize that this is something I don't do nearly often enough. I get tangled up in the things of life. I pray the rosary while I am driving somewhere to do something. I pray while I wash the dishes, fold clothes, etc. Even when I am in adoration, I find my mind wandering. I am still looking for that quiet place where I can truly pray. Finally, I have realized that until I quiet myself, my body, my thoughts, my heart, my soul, I can never find that deserted place where I can truly pray.
Lent is rapidly approaching. I am not planning on a huge list of what I am going to GIVE UP during Lent. Instead, I am going to focus on finding that deserted place where I can pray. I do know that deserted place is already inside me. I merely need to ask the Lord to open that door and help me step inside. As we enter the Lenten season, I pray that all of us can find that deserted place where we can truly encounter our blessed Lord and Saviour.
Peace and Blessings -- Judy