February 21, 2023
Tuesday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
Readings for Today
Saint Peter Damian, Bishop and Doctor of the Church—Optional Memorial
Jesus and his disciples left from there and began a journey through Galilee, but he did not wish anyone to know about it. He was teaching his disciples and telling them, “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.” Mark 9:30–31
Why would Jesus wish that no one know that He and His disciples were traveling through Galilee at that time? It appears the reason was that Jesus was intently focused upon teaching His disciples about His coming passion, death and resurrection. Today’s Gospel presents us with three moments in which Jesus taught His disciples privately, directly and clearly: first, while they were journeying; second, when they arrived in Capernaum and entered a house; and third, when Jesus called a child over. Though the content of what Jesus taught His disciples is significant, it is also helpful to first reflect upon the simple fact that Jesus spent time alone with the disciples teaching them.
In many ways, our Lord does the same with us. Jesus is constantly calling us to various forms of solitude with Him so that we can listen to all that He wants to teach us. This is difficult for many today. So many people are constantly bombarded with the various noises of the world, are constantly distracted by momentary and passing experiences, and find it difficult to go off with our Lord alone so that He can teach them the most important lessons of life.
As you consider your weekly activities, how much time do you devote to being alone with our Lord? How much time do you spend in prayer, in the reading of Scripture and in silent meditation away from other distractions? For many, this is a challenge.
It is also useful to consider the content of what Jesus taught His disciples in private. He spoke to them about His coming passion, death and resurrection. This was the central purpose of His life and was clearly something that Jesus wanted to communicate to His disciples. Notice also that Jesus spoke very directly and without any figure of speech as He explained this. Contrast that with the many parables He told to the crowds. It appears that when Jesus was able to be alone with those who had dedicated their lives to following Him in faith, Jesus was able to speak His saving message more clearly and directly.
Reflect, today, upon the fact that our Lord wants to draw you into silence and solitude from time to time. He wants to spend time with you alone. This is especially the case for those who have chosen to fully devote their lives to Him and His mission. If that is you, then seek out these moments of solitude in which our Lord can speak more clearly and directly to you so that your faith will deepen and your understanding and knowledge will grow by leaps and bounds.
Lord, You have so much to say, so much to teach and so much to reveal. As I choose to follow You and devote my entire life to You, I pray that You will continuously draw me into greater silence and solitude so that I can receive from You the deep, clear and direct messages that I need to hear, understand and believe. Jesus, I trust in You.
Featured books for Lent:
Saint of the Day – Saint Peter Damian, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
Featured image above: via flickr