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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Wednesday 1st in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (Heb 2:14-18): Since the children share in blood and Flesh, Jesus likewise shared in them, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the Devil, and free those who through fear of death had been subject to slavery all their life. Surely he did not help angels but rather the descendants of Abraham; therefore, he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every way, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest before God to expiate the sins of the people. Because he himself was tested through what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.
Responsorial Psalm: 104
R/. The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.
Give thanks to the Lord, invoke his name; make known among the nations his deeds. Sing to him, sing his praise, proclaim all his wondrous deeds.

Glory in his holy name; rejoice, o hearts that seek the Lord! Look to the Lord in his strength; seek to serve him constantly.

You descendants of Abraham, his servants, sons of Jacob, his chosen ones! He, the Lord, is our God; throughout the earth his judgments prevail.

He remembers forever his covenant which he made binding for a thousand generations, which he entered into with Abraham and by his oath to Isaac.
Verscicle before the Gospel (Jn 10:27): Alleluia. My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord. I know them, and they follow me. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Mk 1,29-39): As soon as Jesus and his disciples left the synagogue, Jesus went to the home of Simon and Andrew with James and John. As Simon's mother-in-law was sick in bed with fever, they immediately told Him about her. Jesus went to her and taking her by the hand, raised her up. The fever left her and she began to wait on them.

That evening at sundown, people brought to Jesus all the sick and those who had evil spirits: the whole town was pressing around the door. Jesus healed many who had various diseases, and drove out many demons; but he did not let them speak, for they knew who he was.

Very early in the morning, before daylight, Jesus went off to a lonely place where He prayed. Simon and the others went out, too, searching for him; and when they found him they said, «Everyone is looking for you». Then Jesus answered, «Let's go to the nearby villages so that I may preach there too; for that is why I came». So Jesus set out to preach in all the synagogues throughout Galilee; he also cast out demons.

«Very early in the morning, before daylight, Jesus went off to a lonely place where He prayed»

Fr. Josep Mª MASSANA i Mola OFM
(Barcelona, Spain)

Today, we are clearly shown how Jesus split his working hours. On one hand He prayed and, on the other, He consecrated time to his mission of praying with words and deeds. Contemplation and Action. Prayer and Work. Being with God while amongst men.

We indeed see Jesus dedicated in body and soul to his task as Messiah and Savior: He cures the sick, as Saint Peter's mother in law and many others; He comforts the sad ones, drives out demons and preaches. People bring him the ailing and those with evil spirits. And they all want to hear his words. His disciples tell him: «Everyone is looking for you» (Mk 1:37). More often than not He surely had an exhausting activity that did not give him even time to breathe. But, at the same time, Jesus also had to look for some lonely place where He could pray: «Very early in the morning, before daylight, Jesus went off to a lonely place where He prayed» (Mk 1:35). In other Gospels we can also find Jesus devoted to praying in different hours and even at night. He knew how to distribute his time, so that his working days would have a proper balance between work and prayer.

We often say: —I have no time! We are so busy with our homework, our professional activity, the countless tasks in our agenda... So, quite often, we believe we should be relieved from our daily prayers. We do a lot of important things, but often run the risk of forgetting the absolutely necessary one: prayer. We have to establish a balance to be able to do the former without neglecting the latter.

Saint Francis brings it up like that: «We must faithfully and devotedly work, without extinguishing the spirit of the holy prayer and devotion which the worldly things must be submitted to».

Maybe we should organize ourselves a little bit better. Discipline us, by “domesticating” our time. Certainly, what is important must be done. But what is necessary should be an absolute must.