Once, when he was in one of the cities, there was a man covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.” Then Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do choose. Be made clean.” Immediately the leprosy left him. And he ordered him to tell no one. “Go,” he said, “and show yourself to the priest, and, as Moses commanded, make an offering for your cleansing, for a testimony to them.”
But now more than ever the word about Jesus spread abroad; many crowds would gather to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
The lines in Scripture where Jesus withdraws to deserted places to pray always catch my attention. As I’m writing this, we are in the midst of the Advent season and Christmas preparations. That tends to mean that I am busier than I would like to be. We often think that after Christmas things will slow down and get back to normal. However, I find that regardless of the season, quiet time is usually something most of us don’t get enough of.
Jesus made quiet prayer time a priority in the midst of all that needed to be done and all of the demands on his time. Who are we to do any less? What can you do to carve out space in your day to spend time with God? Even just a few minutes of silence here and there can help to reset our day and our priorities.
—Mandy Dillon is a Retreat Coordinator at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, IL.
Lord God, in the midst of the busyness of life, help me to slow down and carve out time for conversation with you, just as I make time for other important relationships in my life. Remind me to take opportunities throughout the day to be present with you. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer team
Please share the Good Word with your friends!