In today’s first reading, King Solomon is asked a question that seems to me something like the fabled question that people get asked when they find a genie in a bottle. Make a wish, and it’s yours. Solomon has a relationship with the Lord, and so he treats the opportunity as something quite more than a chance to get rich quick. Instead, he asks for the spiritual gift of understanding, which he knows that he will need in his ministry of governing the people Israel. He gets that, and much more besides.
Jesus offers the Apostles an opportunity, too. They were so busy, they had no opportunity to eat, let alone rest. So he invites them on retreat: “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” He gives them a chance to recharge, to rest and grow. Meanwhile, Jesus continued the ministry of preaching and teaching.
So we too, have opportunities today. Those of us gathered for the Liturgical Minister Day of Renewal have the opportunity to come away and rest a while, to reflect on what we do and why we do it, and why it’s important that we do it well. We come to be fed by the Eucharist and nourished in prayer, we come to receive the gifts that we need to do our ministries well.
Opening ourselves up to our Lord today, we are asked what it is that we need. For each of us the answer is probably quite different. We may need to go deeper in the spiritual life, or we may need to learn more about the Liturgy and our faith. We may need more time for prayer. Whatever it is, our God presents us with the opportunity today. Sometimes I think we underestimate God or don’t want to bother him, or we may even think we can do our ministry or handle whatever life throws at us alone. But we can’t and we don’t have to.
God speaks to us today: “Ask something of me and I will give it to you.” How do you answer? Choose wisely.