Private v. Public

Excerpt from Take Time For Him: Some More

by Angela M Jendro

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6th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Read the Gospel of Mark 1:40-45

Meditation Reflection:

Encounter with Christ can seem paradoxical – both private and public, personal and communal, and silent or exclamatory. We experience the healing of Christ when we go to Him in the quiet solitude of personal pleading in faith to our Lord, whether in moments of private prayer or in approaching him through the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Confession.  At the same time, love and gratitude from this experience overflow our hearts and almost compel us to share it. 

In addition, sometimes Jesus instructed people to tell of their experience, and at other times He bade them to be quiet.  Similarly, the Church sends out missionaries to preach the Gospel in every corner of the world, and at the same time relies on the cloistered prayer of contemplatives and hermits.  Our own duty to attend communal worship at Mass on Sunday, is fed by daily personal prayer all week, and vice versa.

In our own lives we may experience both calls too.  At times Jesus asks us to withdraw in quiet faithfulness, alone with Him and just a few close followers.  At other times, He calls us to publicly witness our faith to others in a visible way. 

How do we discern the difference? Listen. Just listen to the Holy Spirit Who guides the heart’s prayer and provides the words of witness.  The man in this passage couldn’t help but share his joy, it was too overwhelming to keep to himself.  Jesus did ask him to keep quiet because Jesus wanted it to be a personal not public miracle.  Yet, His personal miracles in our lives become public as our joy radiates. 

Consider:

  • How has Christ been working in your life? What are the small (or big) miracles?
  • Is Jesus calling you now into a time of quiet or of witness, or both?
  • How does taking time for personal prayer, make your Mass experience richer?
  • Spend time offering your plea to Christ like the leper in this passage, and time listening and receiving His healing touch.

Practical Application:

  • Read the lives of the saints this week – they offer real life examples of this paradoxical tension between silence and solitude, and courageous witness.

(If you don’t know who to read about, look up the saint of the day online)

All Rights Reserved © 2020 Angela M Jendro

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