Today’s Thoughts: Pope Francis early on in his ministry as pope challenged all priests to bring the healing power of God’s grace to everyone in need, to stay close to the marginalized and to be “shepherds living with the smell of the sheep.” This challenge by Pope Francis came to mind late last night as I reflected on the first reading from the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah. God challenges the leadership of Jeremiahs time to be good shepherds something they are not doing just as Pope Francis challenges the priests and bishops the shepherds of this time to bring God’s grace to the world.
In order to live out God’s challenge and Pope Francis’ challenge we must take some time to hear and be with God. The Gospel provides us with insight on how we might do this. Jesus knew that his time was short, and his message was important. He knew that it was vital that his message should be spread as swiftly as possible. However, Jesus knew it was also important to take time away from proclaiming the Good News. He knew it was important to rest. Even Jesus himself often took time to rest and pray. It was in these moments of rest and prayer that Jesus found the inspiration and wisdom to continue his journey to Calvary.
The message of our readings today is clear. We need to remember that we journey through this life with God’s blessing and we need to remind ourselves of this blessing each and every day and the best way to be reminded of God’s blessings in our life is to pause from the busyness of life – to take some time of rest and prayer. In other words, we can discover the blessings of God when we spend some time in prayerful silence. If we don’t we can become overwhelmed by the busyness of life, the busyness of the world and miss the helping presence of God in our lives.
A couple of years ago as I was checking my Facebook page, I ran across a friend’s reflection on his morning. It went like this – “Warm sun, hot coffee, pipe, swing, dog by my side, geese on the lake.... Mornin y'all!” Now I know my friend to be a spiritual person, but I am not sure he was thinking spiritually that morning a few years ago when he wrote his post, but I think he grasped the essence of our Gospel today!
We are all well aware of how life can often overwhelm us. We have many responsibilities, family, friend, work, ministry, shopping, preparing meals; getting places we need to get through traffic, bad weather. We face many pressures each and every day and sometimes they can be more than we bargained for.
Our Gospel today reminds us priests, us shepherds and us people of faith to pause amid the busyness of our lives and take a break, rest a little, pray a little and stay connected with God. This can make all the difference!
Have a restful and prayerful Sunday evening everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...