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Spiritual Reflection - March 2024

Making time for God

(This article continues the theme of developing our spirituality, as referred to in my February article.) 

Now the Jewish Feast of the Passover was near.  When Jesus looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread for these people to eat?” But He was asking this to test him, for He knew what He was about to do.

Philip answered, “Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to have a small piece.”

One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, “Here is a boy with five barley loaves and two small fish. But what difference will these make among so many?”

“Have the people sit down,” Jesus said. Now there was plenty of grass in that place, so the people sat down, about five thousand of them.

Then Jesus took the loaves and the fish, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. (Jn 6: 5-12)

We could say two questions arise from this gospel: Where do we go to find what the deepest part of ourselves is looking for?  Secondly, why did Jesus have the people sit down? 

The answer to the first question is obviously Christ. The second is a little more intriguing. One obvious answer is that the people are about to be fed. They are Christ’s guests. He is their host. But there is another answer. There are five thousand people there. Imagine the conversations. “Who is he? Some say he is the Messiah” etc, etc. But having them sit down, a bit of order is brought to the gathering. If they continue standing around prattling away and so forth, they will miss the miracle. Isn’t that the story of our lives? Jesus knows they need to see what is happening. By sitting, they will wait and watch.

The overall message is this: make time for God. We don’t live in monasteries, but we can, if we want to, set aside a little time each day to go off to a quiet place and become conscious of the presence of God, and that we live in this presence. There you can consider your life, your Call in life and your response. There you can try to count the gifts of each day. In this space you allow God to find you. You cease to hide. 

There are many exercises to help you relax, but consciously breathing deeply and rhythmically for a couple of minutes will help you immensely. Then gently pray a word or two that comes from the heart. 

Start by doing no more than five minutes, but let it build up gradually until you reach a longer period of 20-30 minutes. The hunger will grow within you. We always find excuses for setting aside time, but that’s all they are. 


  1. Is the idea of setting aside time for prayer new for you? What excuses are you inclined to make?

  2. Is the idea of going to pray without set prayers new for you?

  3. How do you cope with silence at home?


I surrender myself to you, my God, and ask you:
“Put an end to my restlessness.”
I give you my will.
I do not believe any longer that I can answer myself,
“what am I doing, and what is happening through me?”
Lead me and show me your will.
I give you my thoughts. 
I do not believe any longer that I am so intelligent that I can understand myself,
my whole life, or other people. Teach me to think your thoughts.
I give you my plans. I entrust myself to your plan, for you know me.
My anxiety about other people I give to you.
I do not believe any longer that with my anxiety I can improve anything.
That remains with you. Why should I be anxious?
My anxiety about the power of others I give to you.
You were powerless before the mighty. The mighty have fallen. You live.
My fear of my own failures I give to you.
I do not have to be successful if I wish to be one blessed according to your will.
All insoluble questions, all discontent with myself, all my cramped hopes, I give to you.
I give up running into locked doors and wait for you. You will open them.
I give you myself.
I belong to you God. You have me in your hand.
I thank you.