A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark 1:29-30
On leaving the synagogue Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John. Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever. They immediately told him about her. He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up. Then the fever left her and she waited on them.
When it was evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons. The whole town was gathered at the door. He cured many who were sick with various diseases, and he drove out many demons, not permitting them to speak because they knew him.
Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.” He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. For this purpose have I come.” So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons throughout the whole of Galilee.
REFLECTION: Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.
Abundant graces flow from God's mercy. How are we to know God but through what He has done for us. And how are we to know God but through the interior silence of our prayer, a silence where God is dwelling. God Himself tends to our sanctification and our salvation as we surrender ourselves to His mercy.
Amidst the noises of the world we must find time, quiet silent time, to be with God. Many times in the Gospel we find Jesus --"Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed". An example of prayer can be seen in the priest. It is difficult to understand how one can give up power, glamour, pleasure and self indulgence since we, ourselves, live in a materialistic world. But our priest did just that for the salvation of souls.
And because these men are the "persona of Christ" -the living and transparent image of Christ, we expect them to act like Christ. They bring the body and blood of Christ to us. But they are not God, they are human; they are not infallible and in fact are sinners just like you and I. And at times they will do and say things that we disagree with. Forgive them when they disappoint you and pray for them in their weaknesses. .
Remember, they are serving God through their vocation. They, too, have busy lives. They minister, they go to hospitals, run a parish, preach at retreats and conferences, balance books, educate their flock, pray for the parishioners, say masses, hear confessions and counsel. But they need time to pray. So when they ask for help, do so. Volunteer to do things for them. Be active in the church. Cook for them, mow their yard, answer when they calll, take them out to dinner, etc. When they are in trouble, speak to them. But most important, PRAY for them.
The priest needs to spend at least 90% of his time praying to be close to God, to hear and do what God wants of him. Allow them to have their quiet time with the Lord, allow them to recharge in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. Help them from burning out.
As Blessed Fulton Sheen stated, " Who is going to save the Church? Not our bishops, not our priests. It is up to the laity to remind bishops, how to be bishops and priests to be priests". If we love our faith, pray the rosary, pray for priests, visit the Blessed Sacrament and encourage them to become Jesus Christ in persona Christi, as a priest