February 6, 2021 (readings)
- Memorial of Saint Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs
- Rachel Peach
The Apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. 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. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. 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. 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.
Opening Prayer: Lord, help me enter into this moment of prayer with an open and listening heart. I want to enter into your heart and to be able to see my reality and the world around me through your eyes. Let me experience you as my shepherd.
1. Gathered and Reported: Jesus had sent them on a mission and the disciples opened their hearts to share their experiences with Christ: their challenges, the miracles, the excitement, and the changes brought about in their own selves. Like the disciples, we recap our daily experiences every evening as we share our joys and struggles and look for signs of his accompaniment throughout that day. Some days, we thank him for the miracles we witnessed; other days, when we feel the cross more poignantly, we thank Jesus for the suffering he has allowed. Always, we express our gratitude for his presence, recognizing that the good we do is his, and the evil is ours.
2. Come Away and Rest: Jesus must have been excited to hear from the disciples about their mission activity but he also knew the importance of rest. He invited them to “come away and rest” with him. Jesus asks us to stop sometimes as well, to recharge our spiritual and emotional batteries. Our rest might be a stop in the Adoration chapel for some peaceful silence, a “time out” from the computer and phone to read a good book, a nature walk, or a literal eyes-closed rest. He asks us to do all these things “with him.”
3. His Heart Was Moved with Pity: Imagine the concern, the tenderness, and the compassion in Christ’s eyes, as he looked upon the crowd so in need of instruction. And what disappointment the disciples must have felt! There would be no rest for the moment. God knows what we need at all times. It doesn’t matter whether we are actively engaged in life or resting, as long as we strive to discern the Lord’s will and act accordingly.
Conversing with Christ: Jesus, thank you for the experience of your love and tenderness toward me. Thank you for listening to me, for receiving me whenever I come to you, and for inviting me to rest in you. Give me the strength to continue loving, even when I am tired of loving and serving. I want to simply gaze into your eyes and, from there, learn to see the people and reality around me as you do. Open my eyes and my heart. Thank you, Lord, for your shepherding love.
Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will reach out to someone who has shepherded me in the past to thank him or her for the gift he or she has been in my life.
For Further Reflection: Saint of the Day: St. Paul Miki and Companions.
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