So often we get busy with things – often, good things – and we pass over the more simple things in life. It might have been that our children were younger and there were fewer distractions. We may even wish to ‘turn back’ the clock to a day and time when we could just go for a walk, sip a cup of tea and enjoy a good book, or stroll along the beach without worrying that we were ‘missing’ something or ‘neglecting’ the latest message.
Yes, times have changed, distractions and interruptions seem inevitable, social media makes more ‘demands’ on our time – if we let it – and, yes, arguably we’re busier than ever because there are too many things to ‘catch up on’ … emails, texts, phone calls, ‘to-do lists,’ and much, much more.
I wonder what would happen if the ‘grid’ went down for a few hours, maybe a day, a week … or even longer?! What would we do? Where would we go? How would we ‘survive?’ Well, I imagine one thing is certain (once we attended to our basic necessities and secured the thawing food in our refrigerators!) we’d likely find ourselves ‘forced’ to fill our ‘quiet time’ with relationships and reflection. We’d soon realize that we actually can ‘survive’ without running ourselves ragged and we’d begin to spend time with the things that nourish our souls and provide the ‘rest’ for which we yearn: God, family and neighbor.
In today’s Gospel, we read about Jesus’ authoritative teaching through which He declares the Kingdom of GOD is at hand, that He has come to set mankind free from the lies and empty works of the very ‘Enemy’ He has come to cast out. The truth is that Jesus walks among us today and He comes to restore our true identity as sons and daughters, as children of GOD, our Father.
I believe that when we intentionally ‘pull back’ from the busyness of our lives that we will begin to ‘hear’ and ‘respond’ to the call of Jesus, the call He has on our lives as revealed to us through our prayers, the reading of His WORD, and partaking more and more devoutly of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. This will all come to pass as we actively engage the spiritual life in which we were created: filling our souls with the truth of our faith, which the Gospel of Mark tells us Jesus proclaimed through His teaching.
This past week we celebrated the feast days of the Conversion of St. Paul (1/25) and Sts. Timothy and Titus, St. Paul’s disciples (1/26) and, of course, the anniversary of Little Christina Dangond’s entrance into the eternal Kingdom of God. These great Pauline saints – Timothy, Titus and Christina, disciples of St. Paul – cast bright ‘light’ onto our pathway to true freedom, surrendering our lives more and more to Jesus Christ as they each did!
For all who know Little Christina, she’s still very much alive! We recall that her words and life perfectly echoed the saints before her: “Jesus, I Trust in You!” Her precious and brief life here on earth was so committed, consecrated and anointed that she now stands ‘tall’ alongside her elder ‘brothers’ in faith, “Building the True Faith,” one intercessory prayer at a time!
Whether Christina will ever be officially ‘canonized’ a saint is up to the Church, but we certainly can ask for her intercession to live a more consecrated, committed and anointed life for Jesus Christ! After all, Christina knew what we desire in life; Building the Faith, is simply saying: “Jesus, I Trust in You!”
Fr. Ed was ordained to the priesthood in May 2000 for the Archdiocese of Boston. He held three different parish assignments in the Archdiocese from 2000-2010 before his appointment to the Faculty of Saint John’s Seminary, where he was Dean of Men and Director of Pastoral Formation from 2010-2022. Fr. Ed is currently the Administrator of Sacred Heart Parish in Waltham, MA and Spiritual Director & Liaison for the Office for Homeschooling of the Archdiocese of Boston. He is the Spiritual Director for the World Apostolate of Fatima in the Archdiocese and a perpetually professed member of the Institute of Jesus the Priest of the Pauline Family.