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) healed all who were sick and possessed by the devils 3) went off to a lonely place to pray and 4) continued to preach and performed 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. As the Word Incarnate, He permeated His world and its people with the power of His presence that is why people flocked to Him. And yet at the end of the day He would always go to a lonely place to pray. After giving Himself to the people, there was a need for Him to give Himself to the Father. There He would bask in the source of His being, to enter into communion with the One who had given Him the mission.
If we ever evaluate how we spend our 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 in doing 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. In the dignity of our work, we participate with God in His continuous work of creation.
After a day's work, we go home and relax. At home we get recharged and rejuvenated in the presence of our families and 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! At the end of the week we look forward to re-create with friends. 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 to the source of our being?
We take rest to re-charge, to rejuvenate, to evaluate, to strategise! But Christian rest is different! It means going back to the Source! To be with God! In His presence, we offer our labour believing that everything come from Him and with His graciousness will be brought to fruition. Handing over Him the works of our hands, He in turn will hand over to us the fruits of his grace.
Unless we are able to contemplate, we are mere social workers for without contemplation, we will not be able to see the face of God even if we do our work for the marginalised and the poor. Contemplation sanctifies and fructifies our work.
Set a specified time to pray with God! To be with our loved one or a friend is entering into temporal paradise but to spend time with God in prayer is entering a foretaste of eternity.