Daily Reflection – 2/8/2021
When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret and anchored there. As soon as they got out of the boat, people recognized Jesus. They ran throughout that whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched it were healed. (Mark 6:53-56)
That is quite a vivid scene we see in today’s Gospel. Not a surprising or unique one. People hear about this miracle worker and “run” to bring the sick to Him for healing. And Jesus responds – as He always does in love.
There is no doubt in my mind that some who came truly had faith. There is also no doubt that some came because they were caught up in the stories about this miracle worker and went more from a “why not give him a try.” I am also sure that there were countless by-standers who just came to see.
All of it leads to a comment on faith – be it vibrant, dormant or still a question to be explored. Regardless of where you are, may I suggest that we can all benefit from silence?
To be silent, gives us a chance to listen to ourselves. To be silent is to give our hearts a chance to know peace. To be silent is to allow our minds to free themselves from the endless grip of anxiety, fear and constant movement. To be silent is to retrieve our hearts back again from our cellphones and our rushed lives.
We need that silence to listen, refresh and respond. That’s not only important for ourselves but for the world around us. Our lives as Christians – yours and mine – is fundamental to the lives of those who are the least of us. We walk around and see those who are sick, beggars, homeless, the poor. We see immigrants, they are everywhere. We attend to their needs, we welcome them home, we talk at church about how to offer shelter, how to be present, how to undo policies of hatred and debunk feelings of xenophobia, fear, racism and anger.
You and I are needed in this world. You and I are called. You and I must never, never forget how the slightest word, the smallest act, the kindest act can have a ripple effect on the ocean of life. That ocean which surrounds needs those ripples to help us all survive.
As people of God, we are called to discern the spirit of our times and see where the Spirit of God lives and what the Spirit is asking us to do — the work of God. In the same way, Jesus is telling us that we have to pause and pay attention to our hearts, to our movements and to how we are living our lives.
But those ripples can’t happen if we don’t have inner peace. Our words of kindness can’t be a front for an angry heart.
Without a strong spiritual life, fed by daily spiritual practices of prayer and meditation, of pause and loneliness, we cannot do all the work we need to do and we cannot be all that we are called to be. A heart without action is ineffective, and an action without a heart is empty. Jesus is calling us to have a compassionate heart, to reach out in His love but always remember the silence to keep us refreshed.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, let my heart sing for joy in your presence. Give me eyes of faith to recognize your presence and fill me with your Holy Spirit that I may walk in your way of love and peace.”
We are enslaved to notions of success, and therefore put few limits on work. We are enslaved to ideas about our children having every opportunity possible, and therefore schedule them into frenetic lives and wonder why they have a hard time focusing. We are enslaved to the belief that the only thing that will bring contentment is more — more money, more space in our homes, more cars, more things to put on our resumes or in our closets.
This is an invitation to loosen our shackles and climb out of the cages we’ve constructed from a culturally-fed belief that more is the ticket to happiness and that work is the ticket to more. This is an invitation to build into our lives time to rest, time to listen, time to be renewed.
“Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.”