Friday, July 17, 2009

Daily - 7/17/09

Mark 6:30-34

30 The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught.

31 He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while." People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat.

32 So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.

33 People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them.

34 When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.


This passage occurs after the Twelve return from their mission of preaching, healing, and driving out demons. They must have come back pumped up beyond belief and excited. We aren't told details, but some pretty cool stuff must have happened.

Christ gives them instruction that resonates today. There is a need to get away from the cares of the world around you and find solitude and quiet with God. Many times in the gospels, we see Christ withdrawing to pray, to commune with the Father, and to get re-charged. Consider that. Christ is the mediator through which everything was created, and he needed to withdraw and pray.

We were just discussing this need in the Friday morning bible study. Today's world is so full of clutter, noise, and (in the end) meaningless activity, and all of those things are barriers between us and God. Satan has done a tremendous job of filling the world with distractions that we choose instead of seeking God. We need to withdraw to God and spend time with Him.

I've had moments in the past year where I've felt spiritually drained. One of our priests helped me to see something very important -- we cannot give away what we don't have. If I'm trying to help someone else grow spiritually and I haven't taken the time to allow God to feed me, then I'm not getting anywhere. When that happens, I need to get back to basics -- Scripture, prayer, Reconciliation, and the Eucharist. These are the elements of spiritual rest.

When I come to God in those moments, I'm trying to spend less time asking God for things, and more time "resting" in his presence. God knows what I need more than I do. There's nothing wrong with asking for things I think I need, but if I spend my time approaching Him with an agenda, it's entirely possible that I'm more focused on what I want to do than what He wants me to do.

Psalms 46:10 says this very succinctly: "Be still and know that I am God."