“Jesus left and went to a deserted place.”
In today’s Gospel, Jesus heals several sick individuals, including Simon’s mother-in-law. However, after an exhausting day, He traveled to a remote location for seclusion, most likely to spend time with God.
When I was still working as an instructor in a city college, I would usually spend time at the Carmelite Monastery or the Blessed Sacrament chapel in our parish after a long day’s work or just before starting my day. I would usually go to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel to have a quiet moment, sometimes just to sit there before the Lord’s presence and say nothing. Sometimes I would go there just to tell God what I feel and report to Him what had happened during the day. In the seminary, we spend time as a community in front of the Blessed Sacrament everyday. The oratory is also another place where we could have time alone with God for our personal prayers. We also commit one weekend each month for our recollection. These moments are God-given opportunity to listen more to the Good Shepherd’s voice amidst the busy schedule in the seminary. Moments like these with Jesus, allow us to say anything we want—our joys and even the sufferings that we are experiencing. We allow Jesus to speak with us through them. These quiet moments of communion deepen our relationship with God and at the same time, they also reveal some things about ourselves.
The Gospel today encourages us to spend more time alone with God. “Time alone in silence before a tabernacle is needed,” a spiritual writer wrote. Yes, physical labor and academic work are vital in formation but developing a profound relationship with God through prayer are more important. Without prayer, no effort will come into fruition.
By: Sem. Renz Marion C. Cunanan
After Jesus left the synagogue, he entered the house of Simon.
Simon’s mother-in-law was afflicted with a severe fever,
and they interceded with him about her.
He stood over her, rebuked the fever, and it left her.
She got up immediately and waited on them.
At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him.
He laid his hands on each of them and cured them.
And demons also came out from many, shouting, “You are the Son of God.”
But he rebuked them and did not allow them to speak
because they knew that he was the Christ.
At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place.
The crowds went looking for him, and when they came to him,
they tried to prevent him from leaving them.
But he said to them, “To the other towns also
I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God,
because for this purpose I have been sent.”
And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.