5TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME B
What’s in a day for Jesus? Our gospel today shows us how Jesus would normally spend his day. After his preaching at the synagogue, he 1) went to the house of Simon (Peter) and healed Simon’s mother in law 2) he healed all who were sick and possessed by the devils 3) he went off to a lonely place to pray and 4) he continued to preach and perform miracles.
Because Jesus would be spending his public ministry only for three short years, he was as busy as a bee. He was a man of action and yet in spite of his very busy life, he took time to be with His Father in prayer. That is why we can say that his life swings like a pendulum between action and contemplation.
If we ever evaluate how we spend the time of the day, normally we are more active most of the time because we have to work and earn our living. To those who are retired from work, the time is almost not enough do the things we want to in a day, and there will always something to do the following day. To the active amongst us, there is actually no dull moment even as we spend some time in between to relax. But how much time do we spend to be with God? Some of us would say, “But Father, I have almost no more time to pray. Would my work be my prayer?” Of course, all the good works we do glorify God even if we are not conscious about it. We could even say that because of the dignity of our work, we participate with God in His continuous work of creation. But it should not justify us not to find time to be with God. For Jesus, his prayer is the time he spent in communion with His Father. After the day’s long activities, He would always find time to be alone in prayer, not just to rest but to bask in the presence of His Father.
If we are able to regain our strength after we rest from our busy schedule, how much more when we spend some time to pray and be spiritually re-charged. It does not cost unlike when we go to our favorite recreation; it just takes our willingness to commit ourselves to be with God like the way we long to be with our loved ones. A father may be exhausted after the day’s work but when he’s home with his loving wife and children, he’s simply re-created! We may experience the burdens and pains of life or even the unexplainable sufferings like that of Job’s in the first reading today, but if we spend more time with God, life becomes bearable and enjoyable.
If you do not have time to go to the church to pray, then “go to your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Mt. 6:6).
In as much as we set a specified time to eat, re-create and do some other things, can we not set a time to be with God? Maybe for three minutes in the evening, in the garden or in the living room… on a regular time! Turn off the TV, radio, get away from the children and be quiet. That can be our rendezvous with God everyday! This should be the life of a pray-er (a person who prays).