A little over four years ago, I was blessed to go on a journey to the Holy Land with a number of priests from our diocese. It was one of the greatest journeys I have ever been on. What a gift it was to walk where Jesus walked. One of my favorite places to journey was to Capernaum, just north of the Sea of Galilee at the Mt. of Beatitudes. On the hillside of the Mt. of Beatitudes is where Eremos Cave is located. Here are a couple of pictures of what it looks like from inside and outside of the cave. Eremos Cave is a place where it is believed Jesus prayed.
In the Gospel this weekend, we hear: “Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35). In the Gospel of Mark, Jesus shows us how ministry is best lived out. After curing the sick and driving out demons in the whole town, He goes to sleep. But as soon as morning arrives, even before dawn, He goes off to a deserted place and prays.
When we stayed at Capernaum for a few days I, too, would wake up early and go to Eremos Cave to pray alone, in silence, in solitude. What I realized is: 1) Jesus has good taste as the Sea of Galilee is beautiful and truly enables you to encounter God in so many ways, 2) Silence and solitude are a must if you expect to live a life of loving ministry for others.
As we approach the season of Lent, start the practice now of finding a place of beauty, of solitude, of silence that you can enter into as you begin the day so that you are ready to give your all to Jesus!
May God’s peace and joy be with you,
P.S. Thank you for your prayers for Anna Clark and Fr. Lou Thomas. They are recovering from their surgery on February 1st. Keep the prayers coming!