Mk 6:30-34 Let It Snow!
I wasn’t sure what to name my meditation today. It was between two: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow or Come away and rest. I guess I didn’t choose the conservative and holier one.
“The Lord is my Shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.” (Ps 23:1)
Yes!!! The Lord leads me in verdant pastures he gives me repose. I needed a break, desperately. But I couldn’t do it for myself. I didn’t know how to. I do not want to sound dramatic. I would not even be telling you this, but I need to because I see it as a miracle. The Lord gave me a break. This week was a packed week: Masses, confessions, retreats, talks, dinners, marriage preps, marriage counseling, appointments and spiritual directions. It was even Catholic School’s Week and I was all by myself. And all of a sudden, the rain fell and turned to ice. Last night, the snow fell and gave to many of us a well deserved break! I am still working, but I have been able to do a lot of other things like rest, eat, jog and most importantly, pray and meditate. How I love to pray, read and meditate. I turned these past 5 days into Ignation Spiritual Exercises – five days of near silence. I love it! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you Lord! And whoever was praying for ice and snow, you can stop now!!!
Yesterday I spoke to a priest who is a missionary in Atlanta and he told me that he experienced the same thing a few weeks ago: this tremendous need for time alone. Lo and behold, they canceled school for 10 days! That was a blessing in disguise for him. The Lord knows what we need. He is willing to level mountains and raise valleys so that the path - my path, my journey - may refresh my soul.
The Apostles returned from their mission and they must have been exhausted. The first thing our Lord tells them to do is to go to a deserted place and rest. Deserts are useless to man but very much useful to God. It is the place to forget oneself and to contemplate on the fruitfulness of God. He made the barren bear fruit! It is He who accomplishes all things. We are simply workers in the vineyard. Let us pray that we may always be useful to Him – always!
This is the only way to live life. There is no other way. With the decay of authentic values and a world that is heartbroken – full of empty promises, troubles, hardships and threats, our hearts swell ever more to be reunited to the King of peace. There is such a strong desire within us to live in peace and love with our God and neighbor, but our failings and failures and our neighbors’ threats and fallacies won’t leave us alone! All our efforts seem to fail. What we experience is similar to what the Lord experienced: Rejection. What is the solution? Do what the Lord did. The anonymous author writes in The Cloud of Unknowing
1st: If the memories of past sins or the temptations to new one should plague your mind, forming an obstacle between you and God, CRUSH THEM! 2nd: As often as they rise up, you must put them down. 3rd: When distracting thoughts annoy you, pretend that you do not even notice them. 4th: Look over your shoulder as if you are looking for something else. Look beyond all these things because God is hidden beyond the cloud of unknowing. 5th: Do this and I am sure you will be relieved of anxiety because you are really yearning for God, you have a longing to see him as much as possible in this life and a desire like this is actually love, which always brings peace.
St. Ephrem the Syrian wrote, “Jesus, in that hour when darkness like a cloak shall spread over all things, may your grace shine on us in place of the earthy sun.”
Come away and rest a while with the Lord.