Jesus departed with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed him; hearing all that he was doing, they came to him in great numbers from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and the region around Tyre and Sidon. He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him; for he had cured many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and shouted, “You are the Son of God!” But he sternly ordered them not to make him known.
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.
This Scripture paints a chaotic scene. Jesus, having just been angered by the Pharisees who disapproved of his healing on the sabbath, leaves the synagogue. I can imagine he needs a break – he heads for the lake, perhaps to enjoy the breeze off the water. But the crowds follow him, there are people coming from everywhere, and everyone wants something from him. Even the unclean spirits are shouting at him.
Praying with this passage, the tumult of this scene reminds me of the multiple demands I face in my own life. When I have several different colleagues/deadlines/family members needing things all at the same time, Jesus knows what that feels like. When I just want to get away from it all, he’s been there too.
After reflecting on this, I take a moment to talk about it with Jesus. What else about my life do I hope he understands?
—Catherine Heinhold is the Pastoral Assistant for Ignatian Programming at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Washington, D.C. where she facilitates prayer programs and the Young Adult Community.
Lord, you understand the chaotic parts of my life as well as the peaceful parts. Help me to remember to share these moments with you. Amen.
Please share the Good Word with your friends!