Touch Us, Lord Jesus
Zac Harmon-McLaughlin of Sacramento, CA, USA
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things. -Mark 6:30-34
Have you ever had one of those Sundays when you just wanted to go home after church and relax for the rest of the day? This was the kind of day the disciples were having in today’s scripture. They were so consumed with “work” they didn’t even have a chance to eat! When they arrived at the place where they expected rest, they found ministry and community waiting.
I was having one of those Sundays when I felt the disruptive Spirit of God stirring in my heart. In the middle of the church service God began nudging me to go outside. I thought, “I can’t leave to go outside! It\’s the middle of the sermon!” God didn’t seem to mind, and I caved to the promptings.
Outside was a homeless man, Daniel. I introduced myself and shared about our church, but he made it clear he didn’t want to come in because he had not always been welcomed in churches. He felt judged and set aside. I did my best to convince him it wouldn’t be the case here. He finally decided to come in as the service ended. Immediately a sister from the congregation ran up to Daniel to say how glad she was he was there and gave him the biggest hug.
I knew I would not be relaxing that day as I had hoped. In that moment Jesus entered the room and gave me a glimpse of a much different joy I would be experiencing. I spent the rest of the day with Daniel. We ate together, washed his laundry, and found him a place to sleep that would be comfortable and out of the elements.
Touch us, Lord Jesus! Jesus is always calling me to go beyond-to the places I may be uncomfortable going. The trick isn’t to wait for Jesus to show up. The trick is to find the courage to always be listening.
“Your mercies are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23, adapted).
Ordinary Time is a season for noticing the details of life that make up its substance. This month, we invite you to pay attention with each fresh morning to the gift of being alive. Before getting out of bed, take a few deep breaths and notice what it feels like to wake up in your own body. Engage the tasks of your unfolding day with reverence-brushing your teeth, making the bed, pouring the coffee, tending the kids, feeding the animals, making breakfast, etc. Notice the presence of the Holy in every ordinary thing. Embrace your daily routines with sacramental significance. Notice how long you can do this before your attention is taken away, and commit to returning to this simple awareness as gently and often as you can.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.