A Deserted Place

Saturday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

February 8, 2020

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Today, in Mercy, in our readings, both Solomon and Jesus go off to quiet places to pray, reflect, recenter, and worship.


Read in the broader context of Kings, this Old Testament passage encapsulates Israel’s transition from shifting allegiances and worship places to a unified worship of one true God in Jerusalem.

But for us today, it is more about how we pray and what we pray for.

Solomon’s retreat is characterized by his sincere humility and gratitude. In this, his first documented encounter with God, Solomon hits a homer in relationship. God is pleased with Solomon’s self-abnegating request only for wisdom to benefit others.

In his prayer, Solomon has been able to get himself out of the way in order to really see and hear God.

In our Gospel, Jesus seeks retreat for himself and his disciples because of the pressures of their ministries and the recent gut-punch news of John the Baptist’s execution.

He said to them,
“Come away by yourselves
to a deserted place

and rest a while.”


Turns out, they don’t really get much of a chance to do that. As with many of us, the responsibilities are so pressing that they conspire to find us no matter what.

Can we change that? Perhaps.

By planning, asking for assistance, disciplining our time and choices. But we really have to want that precious deserted place for meeting God in a special way.

These “retreats” must be a way of life for us, consistent choices to bring our busy lives before God, lay them at his feet, humbly open our hearts, and ask to see ourselves in a new and graced way.

Our “going off to rest awhile” in God can be as short as a few minutes morning and evening, or as long as a 30 day retreat. They just have to be the repeated, consistent, and a discipline of our hearts.



“Discipline” may seem like a hard word for it, especially if we think of our high school demerits🤪

But think instead of the elegant discipline of a beautiful dance and let God lead.

A treasured thought of the Jesuit Pedro Arrupe suggests itself here:

Nothing is more practical than
finding God, than
falling in Love
in a quite absolute, final way.
What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination, will affect everything.
It will decide
what will get you out of bed in the morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.
Fall in Love, stay in love,
and it will decide everything.

Music:  These Alone Are Enough – Dan Schutte 

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