Scripture: Lectionary 432. Sept.3. I Thessalonians 5:1-6.9-11. Psalm 27:1.4.13-14. Luke 4:31-37:
Life moves so fast these days! As I age (I am 79) I realize the days zoom by much faster than ever. Weeks seem to be like days. This is probably due to the fact that I am able to keep active within the ministries I still have. However, despite this activity and the rapidity of life, I and you, need some pauses within the day to experience the calm and the peace that St. Paul encourages the Thessalonians to have. His words strike us as very consoling even about the prospect of dying with Christ and then rising with Him. Paul is now at the conclusion of his epistle. He remains constant in his message and in his comforting and supportive words to us through the church at Thessalonica. We are urged to stay alert and be vigilant for the Lord will come at an hour we know not. He wants us to experience the presence of God and God’s love each day amidst all of the frenetic activity and noise that surrounds us. Prayer is the way in which we can calm ourselves and our anxieties. It does not take away from our work and ministry it makes it quality service to the people of God and not drudgery. The moments of silence and recollection we give to the awareness of God calm us down and help us to be more positive and patient in what we do for others and for ourselves. We leave aside our “multi-tasking” and “multi-distractions” for some rest in the Lord while separating ourselves from the hustle and bustle of what happens around us in our noisy and fast moving world.
Paul in his letter helps us to focus on the mystery of Christ in his redemptive love seen through his sufferings, death, and Resurrection. This is primary in our pause in prayer if we are attentive to the most apostolic of the Apostles, Paul. Jesus is our salvation and our joy as we patiently await our own Resurrection. The Psalm 27, one of my favorites, tells us, “The Lord is my light and my salvation…May I gaze on the loveliness of the Lord and contemplate his temple.”
Like the people of Capernaum, we are to be spellbound by the power of Jesus’ words and his authority that comes deep from within his Godliness. He has been sent as the Apostle who brings us home through his redemptive love. We are safe and free from anxiety when we become aware of his presence. Without him we are restless, filled with anxiety, and fearful. He who calmed the man who was disturbed by a demon can help us with getting rid of the demons of pessimism, doubts, and loneliness. As the Psalm says, “We will see the good in the land of the living.”
Finally, I offer my making the prayer of Sister Benedicta of the Cross (Saint Edith Stein) with some alterations to make it more personal as your and my prayer at the end of the day:
“O God you are here in these brief moments of rest and prayer and you can give us in a single instant exactly what we need. Then the rest of this day can take its course, under the same effort and strain, perhaps, but at peace with ourself. And when night comes, and we look back over the day and see how fragmentary everything has been, and how much we planned is left undone, and all the reasons we may want to feel embarrassed and ashamed of what we have not done; let us take everything that happened this day as it is, put it in God’s hands and leave it with him. Then we will be able to rest in him—really rest—and start tomorrow as a new life.” Amen.
(Adapted from her “Paths to Interior Silence.”)
Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.