Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time

by Fr. Ivan Olmo

“Quiet!  Be still!” Do you long for a spiritual encounter, for an opportunity to hear God? Do you long for interior silence, for a quiet getaway, for a spiritual retreat? Do you long for God in silence, for a connection with the divine, for an opportunity to be touched by Heaven? Do you long to be still, to be quiet, to be alone with God? Will you enter into his peace? Thinking of a desert may invoke images of a place that is uninviting, dry, harsh, cold, barren, desolate, empty. Not a happy place to go to.  Not a welcoming space. For some, the conditions of a desert can seem miserable, unbearable, difficult to live in, unpleasant to be in. If this is our frame of reference, our point of view, our spiritual perspective, then the desert is an undesirable place, an empty wasteland, a place of temptation, a place of void, a place to be avoided.  But if your frame of reference is that of someone who has been refreshed and renewed or of someone who has encountered God in interior silence then the desert becomes a place that is good for the heart, gentle to the soul, quiet to the mind and relaxing for the body. The desert can be a place of utter beauty if we learn to close our eyes to the world around us and to the images that often tempt us. The desert can be a place of amazing transformation if we learn to quiet the world around us and silence our phones, our thoughts and the voices within. The desert can be a place of refuge, a haven of peace, a holy sanctuary if we learn to really withdraw from the world and enter into God, into his heart, into his holy presence. Jesus often went into the desert to pray, to commune with the Father, to rest in the Spirit. He went to listen to his heart, to listen to the Father, to listen to his Spirit. He longed for the desert, desiring to be still, to be loved, to be encouraged, to be filled. The desert is a spiritual oasis, a place of refreshment, a place to be recreated, a place of peace.  The desert longs for you. It cries out to you, it calls out to you, extending a gracious invitation to all to come into God’s holy presence, into the silence of your heart, into the desert of God’s peace and to simply be silent, be quiet, be still and be loved by God. 

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