Homily for February 6th, 2016: Mark 6:30-34.
The Twelve return to Jesus after a time of arduous labor, to report Aall that they had done and taught.@ Jesus knows that after this strenuous activity they need to withdraw C time, we would say today, to recharge their spiritual batteries. So Jesus invites them to Acome away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a little.@ We all need such times of refreshment. The most important hour of my day is the half-hour I spend here in church, waiting in silence on the Lord, and the Mass which follows. Without that time with the Lord who called me to his service on my ordination day, almost 62 years ago, I=d just be spinning my wheels.
How can we find time in our busy lives for the rest and refreshment we all need? Here are a few suggestions. In every life, no matter how crowded, there are empty times C times when we must wait. We wait in the check-out line at the supermarket. We wait in traffic, at the post office, at the bank, dentist, or doctor. We walk to and from the cars at our places of work, or at shopping centers. Such empty periods in the day can be turned into Atimes for God.@ As you wait, as you walk to or from the car, lift up your heart and mind to God. Hold up to him those whom you love. Ask him to bless them in the way he knows they need to be blessed. Hold yourself before your heavenly Father with all your weakness and need, all the loose ends in your life, your brokenness, compromises, failures. Long prayers are not necessary. Simple, short prayers are best.
AJesus, help me.@ AMy Lord and my God.@ ALord Jesus, I love you.@ AGood Physician, make me whole.@ AMary, mother, bless your child@
Or simply the holy names, AJesus, Mary, Joseph@ C or the holy name of Jesus alone, repeated with every step, every breath, every heartbeat: all these are perfect prayers that go straight to the loving heart of our heavenly Father.
The more often you make time for the Lord in your life, the more you will discover that the words of psalm 23, the best known and most loved of all 150 psalms, are true C true for you:
AThe Lord is my shepherd: I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.@