Jesus was fully human and fully divine. As such, He felt the same things we feel – physical pain, betrayal, sadness, joy, etc. Today’s first reading from Hebrews 2 tells us that was necessary. “Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.”
In today’s Gospel reading from Mark 1, Jesus heals all in the town who were ill or possessed by demons. It must have been emotionally and physically exhausting for Jesus. Early the next morning, “he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.” Jesus knew the value in taking time in solitude for quiet prayer. Think of it as a mini retreat.
We need to follow the example of Jesus in this. Sometimes in our crazy world, it can seem impossible to get away from the noise and pray. This is really a matter of priorities. In The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven Covey puts it like this: Don’t prioritize your schedule, schedule your priorities. Do you take time for quiet prayer each day? Have you made a retreat lately? Make those things part of your life and you will see good fruit borne from it.
Father, may we seek out quiet time for prayer, following the example of Jesus. Amen.
In my new book, A Minute in the Church: Life in Christ, there is a chapter on Retreats. The book is available one week from today at www.GusLloyd.com.