In the Gospel reading for this Sunday, Jesus finishes with the miracle of multiplying a few loaves and fish to feed thousands of people, and then he goes off by himself to pray.
When you host a large dinner party or complete a big project or overcome difficult obstacles, do you give yourself time to recuperate and let God minister to you?
After spending time alone with his Father, Jesus was so uplifted by the experience that he walked on water!
Jesus frequently spent time in prayer. He probably went off by himself to pray a lot more often than what is written in scripture. So why did Matthew mention it here? What was significant about this particular prayer time?
Through Matthew, God is showing us how to achieve a well-balanced faith.
We need periods of prayer-filled solitude to restore our energies and renew our vision of what God is inspiring us to do. We all have work to do for God in our families, in our workplaces, in social gatherings, in our parishes and in every problem that arises. Giving of ourselves to others will always drain us; to thrive and grow in our usefulness to God, we must allow him to replenish us often.
Prayer helps us to prepare for whatever lies ahead, even when we don't know what we're walking into. What we gain from the Lord in our time alone with him is a gift designed for our benefit and for responding to the needs of others. It strengthens our faith, teaches us how to walk on water, and sends us to the next shore where people who need God's help are waiting. God wants to minister to them through us. Are you prayed up and ready?
Questions for Personal Reflection: How much time do you spend in quiet aloneness with the Lord? Is it enough to restore the inner peace that comes from staying in touch with God? Or do you feel drained and unprepared to continue?
Questions for Community Faith Sharing: What's your favorite way of praying? What kind of prayer makes you feel most connected to God? Why? How does this help you in the tasks of your daily life?