“He left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.”

Mk 1:29-39: Upon leaving the synagogue in Capernaum, Jesus, along with the first four apostles, goes to Simon and Andrew’s house where Jesus heals Peter’s mother-in-law of fever after being told about her illness.  That evening many sick and possessed came to the door for help and many of them were made whole by Jesus.  Before dawn the next day Jesus was at prayer but was pursued by Simon and others who told Him that He was being sought out by the townspeople.  Rather than go back, Jesus told them that they were to go to other villages to preach the word.  This they did, accompanied by many miracles of healing and exorcisms.  Jesus provides us a wonderful example of the proper approach to ministry.  We often hear of Jesus at prayer, especially at times when the greatest challenges He will face are imminent (most prominently in the hour before His arrest [Mt 26:36-46]).  He could have easily attempted to justify continued teaching or healings.  Yet He realized that true power, strength, and consolation comes from conversation with the Father.  And after a long day of activity, no one would have blamed Jesus for sleeping in.  But He realized that only in God do we find the rest that really refreshes (cf. Ps 62:5).  We must never neglect prayer in our anxiety and worry over many things; rather we are to choose “the better part” (Lk 10:41-42)  We don’t shirk our duties and responsibilities to our neighbor, but we don’t forget to have quality time with the Lord, either.  The greatest and most prolific saints and holy men and women always made/make prayer time a mandatory and significant part of their day.  Yet, seemingly miraculously, they got/get as much, if not more done than had they neglected it.  God blesses our efforts and aids our good work when we show Him appropriate honor and deference.  Let us make (quality) time for the Lord each and every day.

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