Finding Your Balance (Jan. 29, 2015)

I’m writing this reflection on Sunday’s readings while down in Atlanta keeping an eye on Mom while my Sis is taking a break. After I read Sunday’s Gospel, I had to smile. Invariably, when I would go home to the previous residence in NC, Mom would have a list of “people that I should see while home.” It was really the last thing I wanted to do, because after all, it was vacation time.

Now there is no such list, so I’m able to have some time for myself. And that plays right into Sunday’s Gospel. After an extremely busy evening, Jesus heads for the hills to be alone and to pray. His disciples come in search of him. Jesus has to do a balancing act. On the one hand, he needs time for himself to renew his spiritual energy and be in contact with his Father. Second, he has to think of the needs of other people as well.

Jesus may have been the Son of God but he was still a human being. As such, he could only be in one place at a time and, during those three years of public life, he really only reached a very small number of people. To reach the rest, he needed and still needs our help. But it’s good to also be aware of his example. Some people can help and help and help ’til they literally drop dead.

It’s really good to occasionally check our availability. We do need to be available to all of those in genuine need failure to do so is basically being unfaithful to our calling as Christians. At the same time, there is a ‘poverty of availability’. No matter how generous and self-giving we are we can only give so much. We need to find a balance between people’s needs and our limited resources. We do not help people by working ourselves to the point of ‘burnout’. We also need ‘quality time’ to be with God, to pray and to reflect on our priorities. Jesus gives us an excellent example here; if we don’t follow his example, then our days become like Job’s (First Reading): full of drudgery, unhappy, with troubled nights.

Pray, labor, and rest happily!

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