REFLECTION FOR 6TH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C), Week beginning 13 February 2022
This coming week is HALF-TERM BREAK for our school(s). Such school holiday breaks in the annual calendar emphasize for us the real need for a restful change from the everyday routine.
In the Gospel of Mark (6: 30-33) we read: “The apostles rejoined Jesus and told him all they had done and taught. He then said to them: “You must come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while” for there were so many coming and going that the apostles had no time even to eat – so they went off in a boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves …” For Jesus and the apostles, this did not materialise for the crowd saw them going, many guessing where. They hurried to the place and reached it first.
During the present pandemic, travel to anywhere (near or far) has hardly been at its most straightforward. As to any plans, we may have to resort speedily to a “PLAN B”. A longstanding parish priest was once heard to say privately that his method of working was to take one-third of each day off. Such, of course, could be difficult in the extreme for many. So, we ask, how might we achieve sufficient time off each day, without even leaving our base?
St. Francis de Sales said if you have a busy day pending, do a set amount of prayer on that day – and if you have an extremely busy day in prospect, then double your prayer time that day. By this he must have meant CONTEMPLATION – the prayer of silence – centering prayer – entering one’s inner temple, one’s inner sanctum – possibly using a mantra (e.g. the Aramaic word ‘Ma-ra-na-tha’ meaning ‘Come, Lord’ – the language of Jesus) – repeating such a mantra slowly, with its 4 equal rhyming syllables, can lead to deep peace and calm – twice daily, 20-30 minutes each time.