This might be a sign that your priorities are wrong. If you're worn out from ministering to others, perhaps you're not giving yourself enough time to be ministered to. We cannot give to others what we have not received. Our top priority must be our relationship with God; it's from this that we receive everything else we need.
Making God our top priority includes letting him nurture us as we take time out to rest in his love.
In today's Gospel reading, Jesus needs this kind of rest. He's been busy ministering -- healing and preaching -- and he has dealt with some very difficult and disapproving Pharisees. Now he enters the home of an unnamed friend, and he hopes no one will find out that he's here, at least not until he's finished recuperating.
We all know what that's like! Just when we can't handle one more person demanding one more ounce of energy from us, and we've settled into the couch to relax, the phone rings and someone else needs our attention.
Jesus had only started to rest when someone came knocking. When she asks for help, we can hear grouchiness in this scripture: He was grumpy because he was tired. Does this surprise you? Remember, Jesus was human like us in every way except sin. But despite his grouchiness, he did not sin, because he still cared. The woman's needs were AS important as his own -- not less, not more important, but the same AS. So instead of selfishly turning the woman away, and without ignoring his own needs, he gave her what she needed and then immediately sent her out the door.
Our grouchiness becomes a sin when we use our bad mood to push others away. Oh how hard it is to remain loving when we're tired! But guess what? When we make sure our own needs are taken care of and we keep our priorities right, we don't get so worn out. Then it's much easier to remain loving.
Have you ever heard the saying that J-O-Y means "Jesus-Others-You" as a priority list? Well, be careful! It can cause burn-out. In truth, we experience joy when we stay closely connected to Jesus and let no one come between him and us. We need times of solitude with him. We need times of nurturing ourselves in his presence. We must continually fill up on his love so that we have enough love to pour into others without becoming drained.
Are you worn out from giving yourself to others? Take time to balance the equation. Your needs are as important as their needs. Give yourself time to receive what you need so that you will once again have an abundance to give to others joyfully!
From a reader named Bobby: "Too often Catholic pencil pushers use their hierarchy of intelligence, throwing out four syllable words, forcing the reader to open a dictionary, promoting self and not Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Other astute writers will quote from everything they have read and springboard into a verse or two from the Bible. What I like about GNM, you present the truth in a simple and non-compromising format that anyone can understand. Jesus taught on the level of the people who were listening."