Scripture Reading: Mark 1:29-39
The Gospel of Mark is accepted by majority of scholars as the first to be written in the late 60’s, most likely in Rome. Mark’s primary purpose was to strengthen his community’s faith in Jesus as the Christ, the resurrected Son of God. He does not elaborate when describing an event, but includes the most important facts. For example, in today’s text, he mentions that Jesus withdrew to a deserted place to highlight the secret of His success.
Verse 35 says, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.” In this verse Mark revealed the secret of Jesus’ success in His ministry as man. Some believers are so busy that they cannot find time to pray. Apparently, the busier Christ’s life was, the more He prayed. Sometimes He had no time to eat, but He always made out time to pray. Nevertheless, He always took time to pray, and the more the work crowded, the more He prayed. Great saints and many mighty men and women of God learned this secret from Christ. Many other mighty men and women of God have lost their power because they did not learn this secret, and they allowed increasing work to suffocate their prayer lives.
Again, it is more common for most of us to pray before the great events of life than after them, but the latter is as important as the former. If we would pray after the great achievements of life, we might go on to even greater things. As it is, we are often either puffed up or exhausted by them, and therefore proceed no further. The calm majesty of His bearing amid the awful onslaught of Pilate’s judgment hall and of Calvary was the outcome of the struggle, agony and victory of Gethsemane. Jesus’ last utterance before His death was a prayer. His life had been a life of prayer, and with prayer it came to a fitting close.
Brethren, let us follow Christ’s example and get away from the sight and sound of men, and get alone with God. If you have never known what it is to kneel down in the woods where no human voice could be heard, or beneath a tree in the silent starlight or moonlight, and look up with open eyes toward the face of God and talk to Him, you are missing. The man who stays more alone with God, becomes more like God. Divine intimacy is the secret of divine transformation and success.
MASS: GREEN Job 7:1-4. 6-7; Ps 147:1-2. 3-4. 5-6 (R. 3a); 1 Cor 9: 16-19.22-23; Accl. Mt 8:17; Mk 1: 29-39 FIFTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Prayer Point:
1. Take the Daily Strength prayer for the Year 2018.
Exercise: Take meditatively the prayer, “Stay with Me” by Padre Pio.
Meditation: Luke 63:12.

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