But he would withdraw to deserted places to pray

Published January 7, 2022, 12:05 AM

by Manila Bulletin


Reflections today

Christian tradition could recount many cases of men and women fleeing their ordinary lives and withdrawing into the desert or lonely place in order to find God in solitude. They live lives centered on ascetic practices, penance, mortification, and prayer. The premise is that the world draws us away from God, and by fleeing from the world, we are supposed to become closer to God. In reality, the world hinders the Christian from progressing in spiritual life due to the many distractions it offers. While most of us cannot follow the example of the great saints of ascetic life to literally withdraw to a desert, we can actually simulate our own desert by turning off the distractions. In a world transforming into a more and more digitalized one, the risk is for the spirit to be drowned in the hustle and bustle of the social media around us. The addiction is real! How many could relate to cases of insomnia and anxiety because of our gadgets, and in the process losing time for communicating with God? Jesus sets the example: the busier you are, the more you need time to communicate with God. Just turn off everything and pray!

Gospel • LUKE 5:12-16 12

It happened that there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where Jesus was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” And the leprosy left him immediately. Then he ordered him not to tell anyone, but, “Go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses prescribed; that will be proof for them.” The report about him spread all the more, and great crowds assembled to listen to him and to be cured of their ailments, but he would withdraw to deserted places to pray.

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2022,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.