February 5, 2022
by Vivian Amu
St. John's Parish
click here for photo and information about the writer

Memorial of Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr
Lectionary: 328

1 Kings 3:4-13
Psalm 119:9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14
Mark 6:30-34

Praying Ordinary Time

If God said to us today, “Come away by yourself to a deserted place and rest awhile,"  we would be only too happy to go to a peaceful place for a retreat or take a much-needed vacation.  We might even find that when we try to rest, our work, our ministries, or our to-do lists follow us to our places of retreat; they follow us to our places of rest.  When should we stop for a moment, rest, eat, and take care of ourselves?  When should our preference be to meet and greet our work, even when we wish we could rest awhile?  Yes, just as Jesus was moved to continue ministering to people who followed him and the apostles to where they had intended to rest.

Despite all distractions and interruptions to our need for rest, we do what we must and what we are able to do from moment to moment.  We trust God to lead us through whatever is most needed here and now.  When God impresses upon our hearts and spirits the desire for retreat, rest, and self-care, we know what to do and how to respond, even if we might not always have the opportunity to do so.  If we ask God to order our daily steps so we might do that which is life-giving, we would be doing what we are called to do at every given moment of the day.

In the same breath, what if God said to us as we rested, "Ask something of me, and I will give it to you."  Would we be like Solomon and ask for wisdom and understanding so we might know right from wrong more clearly?  Would we ask for wealth, swift judgment on those who have hurt us, immortality, freedom from all forms of personal suffering, or maybe even an opportunity to just rest?  Would we go big and ask for world peace, an end to violence on the streets, an end to all diseases, and an end to poverty?  What would we ask of God?  What are we open to receiving?

God already knows about the things we want but do not have the courage to ask for.  These things, God will provide at the right time.  Having said that, what would we have the courage to voice as a need if we should be asked today?  What would we do when we have received what we have asked for from the Lord?  Do we even know for sure what we want from the Lord?  Regardless of our needs and wants, may we take time to intentionally rest in the warm embrace of the Lord, and trust that what we need will be provided by God’s grace and in God’s time.

Lord, give us courage and wisdom to ask for rest when we need it
and strength to care for the hearts and souls of others when we are called to do so.

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