This week, we find Jesus in the Gospel spending time in Bethany amongst his closest friends, Lazarus, Martha and Mary.
Here in Bethany Jesus could receive the healthy affection and love of his friends. He could be himself and feel at home. This friendship was so important for Jesus as He spent His life, giving to others. For ourselves too, we are blessed by God in our friends. Their love and affection fills us up when we are empty. Friendship is essential for a healthy sense of well being. It is love that renews, heals and provides energy when the difficulties of life face us.
Jesus puts it quite clearly to Martha that what He requires is the listening attentive heart of her sister Mary. The first step to love is to listen. True friendship can only be realised with one who listens with the heart. A great deal of healing and the relief of a heavy burden are achieved through the friend who gives time to listen to me. In order to listen we have to be quiet and attentive. We cannot be distracted by our own personal issues. My friend needs me to be centred on what they are feeling and experiencing. In order to be fully attentive to a friend, one must learn to listen with the heart. Few words are needed in a true conversation.
Jesus is asking all of us to take the time to become quiet from the noisy distractions of daily living when we come to Sunday Mass.
How can we possibly listen to His Word in the scriptures and feel His Presence in the Eucharist if we are absorbed in our own little world?
True prayer is being silent and attentive before Our Lord. It is important to arrive early for Mass, in order to quieten down and become calm; free from the distractions of daily life.
The better part is “to be still and know that I am God” says the Lord. Silence is golden because it provides the opening for grace and the presence of God.
Fr Frank’s health is improving steadily. He is very grateful for all the prayers and well wishes. Please keep him in your prayers.