No Time for Rest

Mark 6: 30-34
1 Kgs 3: 4-13 / Ps 119

When He saw the vast crowd, His heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd…
(Mark 6: 34)

Although we need to “rest a while,”
Our work is never done in mission.
For God let’s walk an extra mile,
It’s all for our salvation.

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to Him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, He said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw the vast crowd, His heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd. So He began teaching them many things. (Mark 6: 30-34)

Reflection

The apostles had just returned from their journeys preaching the Good News that the Lord Jesus had taught them. They were eager to report to the Master about their missions, but hordes of people were coming to Jesus from all over to listen to Him and to be cured of their various illnesses, so it was practically impossible for them to talk in private. “Let us go to a deserted place where you can rest for a while,” Jesus told His apostles. But they could not hide from the multitudes. The popularity of Jesus and His apostles had become so widespread that people everywhere were on the lookout for them. Instead of being bothered by their persistence, our Lord took pity on them because as Jesus noted, they were like sheep scattered without a shepherd. He knew that they were both physically and spiritually hungry. Their bodily illnesses needed healing, but so did their souls.

In this passage we can see the patience, understanding and compassion of our Lord for the people who are hounding Him with their questions and their ailments. Even though He knows that not long after, these very same people would be screaming for His blood, in spite of all the goodness He has shown them. And yet He still shows them His love, teaching them this new commandment of forgiveness.

How often we experience the burden of being God’s servants in our brotherhood, and I am sure many of us would like to take a vacation from our ministry “and rest for a while.” But the multitude of activities that clamor for our attention cannot be stilled, especially as our coming 30th BCBP National Anniversary celebration draws near. There are solicitations to be followed up, assigned committee tasks to be discussed and implemented, and possible problems to be anticipated. Fortunately, most of our members are not afraid to face the task of “feeding the five thousand” come April 23 to 24. This is because we have full trust in the Lord. We need your prayers too, dear reader, that we will never tire in our work for the Lord, such as this one.

Lord Jesus, in today’s Gospel, you teach us to be compassionate to those in need, even when we ourselves are tired and hungry. It is in forgetting ourselves for the sake of others that You always take care of our needs. We are blessed with the thought that no challenge is insurmountable to those who have faith in God’s boundless mercy. We hold fast to the words of Your foremost apostle that “all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His plan.” Thank You, Lord, for calling us to ministry. Amen.

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