This was the reflection given by Pope Francis this morning during his homily at Casa Santa Marta. The Holy Father reflected on today's reading from the Letter to the Hebrews, which calls on Christians to "persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith."
Referring also the Gospel from St. Mark, the Holy Father reflected on the importance of contemplating Jesus' life and works in order to find peace and hope.
"How should I contemplate with the Gospel today?" he asked. "I see that Jesus was in the midst of a crowd, around him there was a large crowd. This passage says the word 'crowd'" five times. But did Jesus rest? I could think: 'He's always with the crowd.'"
"But a great part of Jesus life," he continued, "was passed on the road, with the crowd. But did he rest? Yes, one time, the Gospel says, he slept on the boat but a storm came and the disciples woke him up. Jesus was continuously among the people. And if I look at Jesus this way, I contemplate Jesus that way, I imagine Jesus that way. And I tell Jesus what comes to my mind."
The Holy Father went on to recall the Gospel, in which Jesus healed the daughter of a synagogue official, imagining how Jesus was in the midst of those who doubted the girl's healing. This imagining, the Pope said, is a prayer of contemplation, to read and imagine the scene in which Christ found himself in. He then invited the faithful to do the same.
"Make this prayer of contemplation.'But I have so much to do!' 'But in your home, 15 minutes, take the Gospel, a small passage, imagine what happened and speak with Jesus about it. Thus your gaze will be fixed on Jesus and not on soap operas, for example. Your ears will be fixed on the words of Jesus and not so much on the gossip of the neighbors," he said.
By praying with the Gospel, as well as prayers like the Rosary, the Pope went on to say, one's Christian life can move toward memory and hope.
Concluding his homily, Pope Francis once again invited the faithful to make this prayer of contemplation in their daily lives.
"Today, for example, look for 10 minutes -15, no more – read the Gospel, imagine and say something to Jesus. Nothing more; and in that way your knowledge of Jesus will be greater and your hope will grow. Do not forget, to have your gaze fixed on Jesus. And this is what the prayer of contemplation is for."