It’s 2:30 AM. You’ve woken up and you’re not going back to sleep. What do you do? I suggest you try staying calm, not tossing and turning. Breath in and out calmly … and as you breath out say quietly, over and over, “Jesus, I trust in you. Jesus, I trust in you.” For whatever reason you are awake, know that you are not alone! The Lord is with you. I also recommend holding a Rosary in your hand when you sleep. Gently call out to the Lord and to Mary.
With so much anxiety during this time of COVID, I suspect moments of sleeplessness are more frequent. The huge challenge of these times are isolation and separation. Yet I really believe that one thing the Lord wants us to wake up to in the “trials” of COVID, as the Letter to the Hebrews says, is how our increasingly individualistic societies are resulting in an increasingly solitary and lonely world! We need to turn that current around very consciously!
The Lord Himself experienced our solitude and isolation. We hear today of His return to his home, Nazareth. In the Hebrew Scriptures “Home” is where you are to be part of the family, the community, embedded in faith and love so that you know who you are, and you know you are loved by God and part of His Covenant. Jesus Himself experienced the isolation of when that breaks down through pride and fear. He was rejected by his own people because He is Love Incarnate, and our human sinfulness could not tolerate so much goodness! Yet He came to break through the barriers of fear and separation.St. Mark’s Gospel tells us that He went to Nazareth with His disciples, whom He was forming to walk in the way of Love and a deeper fellowship, not individualism. The Community of Believers: that’s US!
Prayer is so fundamental: our starting point! Calling out to Him, meeting Him, the Love that profoundly heals and transforms us! Praying TOGETHER, praying AS FAMILY, opens the door so that Jesus can come in and heal the wounds of separation. Then we are to look around us to see how we can build up our families and our communities.
Honestly, the conflicts and divisions in our world can seem overwhelming. But we start with our own homes, families, and communities. The Letter to the Hebrews teaches us,
“Strive for peace with everyone, and for that holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one be deprived of grace.” (Heb 12:14)
Father Peyton taught, “The Family That Prays Together Stays Together.” This is what that phrase is about!
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About Father Jim Phalan, C.S.C.
Father James Phalan, C.S.C., is a Catholic priest, member of the Congregation of Holy Cross and the National Director of Family Rosary. He served as a missionary for many years travelling the globe to help people come to Jesus through Mary as part of the Family Rosary team. Now he is happy to be serving back at home in the USA!