This is high-octane ministry: from Synagogue to friends’ house, to the street outside, even in the quiet place, and then in the the next town, and the next, and the next, people come to Jesus for healing and teaching, and Jesus gives it. This is frenetic ministry in the extreme.
What stands out, though, is the briefest section of this story – the one that tells us how Jesus sought out a quiet place for prayer. The lesson is simple enough: life is never too busy for a conversation with our Abba-God. And if Jesus needed that quiet time – we certainly do!
Prayer comes in many shapes and forms but I feel that this reading is pointing us toward the kind of prayer that sits comfortably as a natural part of our daily routine. In Ignatian spirituality there is a discipline called The Examen, which is a practice of prayerfully reviewing the day and reflecting on the presence of God and the touch of Christ within it. A quick Google search will give you more information about this.
This may or may not be helpful for you. But it is worth reflecting on where are those times and places for us where we are able to make the space for real prayer in the midst of life’s frenetic activity?
29 Jesus and his disciples, including James and John, left the synagogue and went straight to the home of Simon and Andrew. 30 Simon’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a fever, and as soon as Jesus arrived, he was told about her. 31 He went to her, took her by the hand, and helped her up. The fever left her, and she began to wait on them.
32 After the sun had set and evening had come, people brought to Jesus all the sick and those who had demons. 33 All the people of the town gathered in front of the house. 34 Jesus healed many who were sick with all kinds of diseases and drove out many demons. He would not let the demons say anything, because they knew who he was.
Jesus Preaches in Galilee.
35 Very early the next morning, long before daylight, Jesus got up and left the house. He went out of the town to a lonely place, where he prayed. 36 But Simon and his companions went out searching for him, 37 and when they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.”38 But Jesus answered, “We must go on to the other villages round here. I have to preach in them also, because that is why I came.”
39 So he travelled all over Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and driving out demons.