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Jesus walks away… What would you do? What will you do?

October 13, 2009 by  
Filed under Dan Burke, Prayer

My reading in the gospel this morning made me laugh (Luke 5:12-16). Here’s the breakdown. Jesus heals – Jesus tells the healed to not tell anyone – the word gets out Jesus smilinganyway – a crowd gathers – Jesus leaves to pray! I can just imagine a dumbfounded group of people, particularly the disciples, saying “Hey, where are you going!? There is a crowd of people here – tell them who you are and why you have come! Where are you going!?”

I wonder what any action-oriented person would advise Jesus to do at that moment? I wonder what Martha would say? I do know what Mary would say. In a situation that mirrors this one in principle, Mary chose prayer over the seemingly obvious and appropriate choice of getting stuff done. Mary understood that spending time with God was even more important than attending to the temporal needs of others.

Jesus is the supreme example of what it means to hold to what is most important and to live it, in spite of what would seem to the world and the worldly to be less so. I don't know about you, but every day of my life I have far more to do than I can get done in every category (family, home, work, church etc). If this is true with every one of us that every day we have more work than we can ever accomplish, will taking time for prayer really hinder our productivity? Is it really a time problem that we have or a priority problem? What “stuff” is more important than knowing and loving God? What task list is more important than spending time with Him? Even when we have opportunities like Jesus had to impact people on a spiritual level – should we take them all? Of all the activities he should have chosen as a priority, shouldn’t this one have been on the top of His list? It wasn’t – at least it wasn’t number one. Instead of taking this important opportunity to attend even to the obvious spiritual needs of others, He gave us a profound example of what it means to choose the “better part.”

Can we do any less?

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, Divine Intimacy Radio and Divine Intimacy Radio - Resources Edition, Into the Deep Parish Programs, the Apostoli Viae (Apostles of the Way) Community, and the FireLight Student Leadership Formation Program, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep, Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux, and his newest book The Contemplative Rosary with St. John Paul II and St. Teresa of Avila. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • Mary Macharia

    To me it appears to follow Jesus the way I feel I should,is to act contrary to what the world views as the right way to act and try to discern His guiding Voice. I then ensure that I keep near Him all day by offering His gift to me of the new day, my prayers, works, joys, sufferings, human encounters and duties planned for the day and invite Him to come along with me and we accomplish all these together.

    At the end of it all, I ask Him to grant me an Hour to spend with Him in the Adoration Chapel to review what we have accomplished for the day, to thank Him for keeping me company to to pray for all those who need His Mercy and healing.To pray for all the needy in our country and then listen to His advice and direction and what He wants frm me. After that I am ready to accompany Him and participate as He offers Himself to the Father in the Mystery of the Eucharistic Sacrifice of he Mass and Receive Him in the Holy Communion to obtain the healing I need and to strengthen my Faith, to unite me with my departed family Members and pray for them, concluding my Prayers with the prayer for the Holy Souls in Purgatory and protection and growth of Mother Church worldwide and in particular our Priests during this Year of he Priests. I find that a fitting way to close my day without fogetting to ask forgiveness for my daily sins and His outpouring of Mercy on us all.

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