To do Christ’s work, seek him in prayer

| Deacon Michael McClellan | July 17, 2015 | 0 Comments

Jesus knows our needs, and because he is our one true shepherd, his heart is moved with pity for us. He desires all of us to gather to him as his sheep.

In the July 19 Gospel reading, the disciples have just returned from mission after having been sent out. They want to tell Jesus about the work they have accomplished in his name. They were so busy that they didn’t even have time to eat. Jesus invites them to come away with him to a “deserted place.”

Jesus has given each of us a mission; he has work for each of us to do. All of our work and actions must be rooted in Christ. Our service to neighbor must be focused on Christ. No matter what it is that the Lord has called each of us to do, it has to find its beginning and end in prayer. Jesus calls us just as he called his disciples to “come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while” (Mark 6:31).

This deserted place is prayer. Jesus desires for us to come away with him and rest. Just as we spend time with anyone we love, we need to spend time with Jesus. Take time each day to pray, even if it’s only for 10 minutes. If you’re able, please consider praying before the Eucharist. We are so blessed in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to have many eucharistic adoration chapels. These chapels are our deserted places where Jesus waits for us in the Blessed Sacrament to come and simply be with him.

Our Lord desires to gather us around himself in the Eucharist. He wants the center of our lives to be him. If our work or outreach is not centered on the Eucharist, then it is not the work of Christ. It is in the sacrifice of the Mass that we find our strength and are sent out on mission. All our actions should come from the Eucharist and lead back to the Eucharist, “the source and summit of the Christian life” (Catechism of the Catholic Church 1324). We encounter Jesus in a very real way in the most Blessed Sacrament. Jesus, who didn’t even have time to eat because of the crowds, feeds us with his own Body and Blood. It is in the Eucharist that Jesus, the one true shepherd, gathers all his lambs together into one flock.

Deacon McClellan is in formation for the priesthood at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. His teaching parish is Nativity of Our Lord in St. Paul. His home parish is Divine Mercy in Faribault.

Sunday, July 19

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time


  • Jeremiah 23:1-6
  • Ephesians 2:13-18
  • Mark 6:30-34

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Category: Sunday Scriptures