January 17, 2019
(St. Anthony, Abbot)
Jesus remained outside in deserted places, and people kept coming to him from everywhere. Mk_1:40-45
The Spirit of the Lord will draw them in, even when we may prefer solitude. Jesus Himself prayed often, as we hear in the Scriptures. And the crowds never ceased seeking Him. We see the same thing happen to many of the saints: St. Anthony the Abbot in the desert, St. Francis on the mountain, St. Julian of Norwich the anchoress.
On our part we must always pray that Jesus will protect us from the evil deception of the devil when we open ourselves to the solitude of union with God. And both will happen. And in our recognition of both, the strengthening of the Holy Spirit and the deceit of Satan, we will gain the wisdom of being able to advise others in their, then, petty battles with evil. When Jesus fills us with His wisdom in our solitude, we will be like that magnet that draws others to want that wisdom, that peace, that closeness to God that we have gained.
So, be strong, beloved and trust in Jesus to give us His strength and wisdom in both instances – the battle of the evil one and the patience with the crowds seeking a little bit of Jesus through us!
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