Prayer helps us find balance

By | February 1, 2012

Today’s Gospel is about revelation. In these 10 verses form Mark’s Gospel we see revealed for us the tremendous love and compassion as made manifest in the person of Jesus. He cares about the ill and possessed; he longs to instruct the people about the kingdom of God.

St. Paul had a similar desire. His preaching flowed from a sense of urgency; his compassion was grounded in identifying with those who are weak and hurting. Paul knew that he was an entrusted steward and his task was to share what had been given to him. His life was consumed by the knowledge of God’s love and forgiveness revealed in Jesus.

A theme in today’s Scriptures could be that of balance. Jesus not only healed and preached, he also spent time in personal prayer. Out of his deep interior life with the Father, which was nurtured by solitude and contemplation, Jesus reached out to the people with wisdom and compassion. No false dichotomy was proposed: either prayer or ministry. Rather, it was the delicate holiness and mission that characterized his life.

Job, in our first reading, confronted the dark side of life. He personally knew misery, drudgery, troubled nights. He knew the swiftness of time and the restlessness of the human spirit. We sense in his life a lack of balance, a person who was unable to cope with the human condition. Would a life of prayer have helped him to deal with the pains of human existence?

What are the emotions of our Scriptures today? For Job, discouragement is not depression; for Paul, an enthusiasm that made him restless and anxious to spread the word; for Jesus, a profound empathy for those in need; for the people healed and preached to, a gratitude and amazement that knew no bounds.

Questions for reflection

1. Are you able to identify with both Job and Paul?

2. How well do you exercise the stewardship entrusted to you?

3. How much balance is there in your life?

Bishop Morneau is the auxiliary bishop of the Green Bay Diocese and pastor of Resurrection Parish in Allouez.

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