January 26, 2019
by Tom Drzaic
Creighton University's Physics Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of Saints Timothy and Titus, bishops
Lectionary: 560/316

2 Timothy 1:1-18 or Titus 1:1-5
Psalms 96:1-2a, 2b-3, 7-8a, 10
Mark 3:20-21

Praying Ordinary Time

Praying As We Age

Today’s first reading emphasizes Jesus’ role as our eternal intercessor, offering us salvation through him. To me, this speaks of the importance of taking time through prayer and quiet reflection, to develop a personal relationship with Him, which in a noisy world can be challenging.  This segues into the Gospel reading, where Mark writes of the Jesus attempt to retreat from the crowds seeking him out as his reputation for curing diseases grew throughout the region, and his instructions for those who were cured not to tell other about him.

At first I found myself questioning as to the reason these instructions were given. Was Jesus tired and stressed, needing time away from the crowds to recharge?  Was the message of His ministry getting lost in the miracles that were being performed, with earthly needs and desires taking precedent over the message of love and eternal salvation? 

Upon reflecting upon these question’s, I found that the answer to both questions was yes. The first question that Jesus, being fully divine and human, would relate to the human stresses we experience is understandable.  This not only reinforces our need for time to relax and for quiet reflection, but also is comforting in that with God experiencing and relating to challenges and frustrations I feel, God can speak more deeply to me. 

Regarding the second question, I thought of the times I was like one of those seeking out God for a miracle, only wanting a need or desire fulfilled.  It is easy at times for me to fall into this childlike relationship with God, praying for this or that favor and if only that would happy I would be more fulfilled.  It is at these times when focus is lost, that it is important to remember that Jesus is my intercessor for eternal salvation and not a Santa like figure that I go to like a child wanting a wish list filled.

Upon conclusion, today’s readings will encourage me to make sure I am finding that time to relax and quietly pray and reflect with Jesus, allowing His message to be heard, always mindful to keep the focus on eternal salvation through Him and not allowing the focus to be solely on selfish earthly need.

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