Gospel Mk 6:30-34
The Apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them. When Jesus disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.
Reflection: He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while."
We all have the opportunity to work. My days as a young mother of 5 were filled with non-stop activity. After our fifth child was born, a friend once asked me how I managed to get all my work done with 5 children. I told her, “If I don’t stop moving during the day, I can get it done. Otherwise, it doesn’t get done”. Having everything done is a great feeling, but the grind can slowly wear you to the point of exhaustion. I knew I reached that point when I woke up one morning crying and feeling just as tired as when I went to bed the night before. I needed the Lord to tell me, just like he told the apostles, to retreat and rest. Jesus does invite us to come away and recharge.
Sometimes those who need us can learn from our slowing down. We should invite them to come with us and enter into rest with the Lord, through adoration, reading scripture or praying a rosary together. Centering ourselves on Jesus can make the world and its pressures dissolve into the background leaving some breathing room for our souls. In caring for our souls to become one with Jesus we must celebrate the sacraments. And consequently, we should lift up the ones who bring us the sacraments. By praying for them to grow in their vocation and holiness, our Lord can move the hearts of his faithful shepherds and multiply the work that they do. We should also continue to pray for our pastors to rest and rejuvenate their passion for teaching others about Christ. In this way, all sheep will have a shepherd.