Mark 1:29-39 Jesus at prayer

The reading for this morning has a couple of things that have always puzzled me. The first has to do with the visit to Peter’s home where his mother-in-law is ill. Jesus heals her and she rises to serve them. The way it is written sounds awful – Jesus heals the woman so that she can take care of the crew? I don’t think so, but that is the way it seems.

The part that most intrigues me is the last part of the passage – after healing many people that evening and driving out demons, the people finally leave and I am assuming everyone sleeps. But “Jesus rose very early before dawn, left and went to a deserted place where he prayed.” Later the apostles find him and they travel to other places where Jesus teaches in the synagogues. We see so often that Jesus goes to a deserted place to pray. He goes when everyone is asleep. This must have been the “food” of which they did not know, the sustenance which sustained and fed Him.

When I think of my own prayer life, I recognize that sometimes I have gained insight or felt comfort or peace. But too many times it is just me sitting there, reading the Magnificat, pausing at a word or two and then getting up to start the work of my day. Is my prayer life “feeding me”? How could it be better? Do I not give God the time to do His work? Am I expecting too much? Still, that small bit of time does give structure to my day. I am distressed when my day does not allow for that time.