Like a bird flies with two wings, we Christians need to balance work and prayer. Like Mary listening to Jesus and Martha serving and taking care of details in the Gospel, the church needs both of them to balance work and prayer.
Today Jesus himself shows the importance of balancing work and prayer through his daily work that is filled with preaching the word, curing the sick, and casting out demons which lasts until the sunset. The compassionate heart never leaves the sick and the vulnerable alone.
At daybreak, Jesus left and went to a deserted place to pray. Although it seems not to allow much time for Jesus, giving up sleep, He finds rest in God alone in prayer. As much as Jesus works, teaches, and cures, He prays which makes sense how He never loses his direction in the midst of activities and turmoils.
In Ignatian Spirituality, it is called “contemplation in action.” Everyday we need to stop, reflect and then go back to work. We are called to be a contemplative in action that means our active life feeds our contemplative life and our contemplative life feeds our active life.
Here, besides work and prayer, I would like to add one more thing, that is, life purpose. Flying with two wings, a bird’s eyes look forward to find the direction. Likewise, life purpose gives meaning and fulfillment to action and contemplation. Like Jesus said, “For this purpose I have been sent,” we need to find our life purpose so that we are not distracted by human weakness such as popularity—I need people’s love, self-contentment—I do this for myself, and attaching oneself to someone or something. What life purpose do you have? Life purpose will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, whom you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Like the Master, we should be able to say, “For this purpose I have been sent!”