The Gospel of Mark portrays Jesus as a man of action, a man on the move. In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus has left the synagogue where he had taught and drove out a demon. Upon entering the home of Peter and Andrew, he learns that Peter’s mother-in-law is sick with fever. He heals her. As evening comes on this already full day, “they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons.” Jesus cured many who were sick and drove out many demons.
Early the next morning, Jesus went off to a quiet place to pray. His followers found him there and said, “Everyone is looking for you.” Jesus led them to nearby villages where he preached and healed and drove out demons “throughout the whole of Galilee.”
Whew! What a tiring pace. But notice what Jesus does—he puts limits on what he does and anchors himself in prayer. He cured “many” who were sick—not all. He made time to pray as he began a new day. And instead of staying where everyone was looking for him, Jesus moved on to other villages.
It’s easy to feel pulled in many directions and try to meet the demands and needs of everyone. What we often sacrifice when we live this way is self-care and taking time for regular prayer. If we follow Jesus’ lead and start each day with prayer, our priorities will sort themselves out and we will feel freer to set healthy limits.
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