Sunday, January 9, 2011

Taking Time to Pray

Friday's daily Mass gospel had to do with Jesus healing the leper.  I was most struck by what the end of the Gospel said, "The report about him spread all the more, and great crowds assembled to listen to him and to be cured of all their ailments, but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray." Luke 5: 16

Picture it from Jesus' perspective.  He has the gift that millions of people need--and they are DEMANDING it from him, in good faith; and they are probably good people, but the need is so great and Jesus, God, but having the limits of a human being because of His saving choice, is only one person.  So, what does he do?  He withdraws to pray!

What?? How did He know who to cure and who not to?  How did He know when enough was enough and the best thing for the world was to be in prayer to His heavenly Father?

I'm no Jesus, let's be clear on this.  But I can related to feeling needed all the time.  My fourth graders need me to teach them their academic subjects and values of their faith.  My workplace needs me to lead Catholic Schools Week.  (God help us.) My family needs me to be present to them. My high school friends need to see my face.  My friends in CL need me to come to the meetings prepared and living actively.  My "Fitness Pal" community needs to see that I'm taking my weight loss seriously, etc.  The list could go on. 

God has blessed me with many gifts one in particular being leadership and I'm asked to lead and be present for a lot of different things on a daily basis.  What I'm discovering more and more these past months is the ESSENTIAL value that my prayer to my Creator and Lord has in being any kind of leader.  Without my face turned towards He who is the Light, my actions are in vain. And sometimes, the best thing for me to do, as a leader and a limited human being, is to take a BREAK and retreat in prayer...just like Jesus did in the desert.

Lord, may you help me understand more and more my limits in front of the responsibilites in my life.  Help me see clearly that I need You in all things--all the work I do in front of people and in the silent times.  May I grow more and more in understanding when I'm just being lazy and when I really need to "withdraw to the deserted places to pray."  Do not leave me in this journey, Lord.  Amen.