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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 (1Sam 3:1-10.19-20): During the time young Samuel was minister to the Lord under Eli, a revelation of the Lord was uncommon and vision infrequent. One day Eli was asleep in his usual place. His eyes had lately grown so weak that he could not see. The lamp of God was not yet extinguished, and Samuel was sleeping in the temple of the Lord where the ark of God was.

The Lord called to Samuel, who answered, «Here I am». Samuel ran to Eli and said, «Here I am. You called me». «I did not call you», Eli said. «Go back to sleep». So he went back to sleep. Again the Lord called Samuel, who rose and went to Eli. «Here I am», he said. «You called me». But Eli answered, «I did not call you, my son. Go back to sleep». At that time Samuel was not familiar with the Lord, because the Lord had not revealed anything to him as yet. The Lord called Samuel again, for the third time. Getting up and going to Eli, he said, «Here I am. You called me». Then Eli understood that the Lord was calling the youth. So Eli said to Samuel, «Go to sleep, and if you are called, reply, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening’». When Samuel went to sleep in his place, the Lord came and revealed his presence, calling out as before, «Samuel, Samuel!». Samuel answered, «Speak, for your servant is listening».

Samuel grew up, and the Lord was with him, not permitting any word of his to be without effect. Thus all Israel from Dan to Beersheba came to know that Samuel was an accredited prophet of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm: 39
R/. Here am I, Lord; I come to do your will.
I have waited, waited for the Lord, and he stooped toward me and heard my cry. Blessed the man who makes the Lord his trust; who turns not to idolatry or to those who stray after falsehood.

Sacrifice or oblation you wished not, but ears open to obedience you gave me. Burnt offerings or sin-offerings you sought not; then said I, «Behold I come».

«In the written scroll it is prescribed for me. To do your will, o my God, is my delight, and your law is within my heart!».

I announced your justice in the vast assembly; I did not restrain my lips, as you, o Lord, know.
Versicle 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.