Taking Time With Jesus


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

Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and rest for a while.
(Mark 6:31)

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 rest for a while.” 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 a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So He began teaching them many things. (Mark 6:30-34)

Reflection

Jesus had sent the apostles to heal and evangelize, and they had returned to report on their ministry. They wanted to be left alone by themselves, but the fame of the Messiah had spread in the lakeside towns and vast crowds sought him out, giving Him and His apostles no respite, nor time to talk. They escaped by boat and sailed off to a deserted place, but again the crowds found them out. Instead of losing his patience with the persistent and inconsiderate crowd (most of whom were perhaps just “usiseros” anyway), the Lord took pity on them, “for they were like sheep without a shepherd (Mark 6:34).

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 thereafter, 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.

Mark shows us how tender-hearted our Lord Jesus is, how patient and forgiving He has always been to all, including us, His hard-headed followers. Even knowing that we have been called and chosen from the many for a special privilege, we are still distracted by the crowds in the marketplace. And the lure of money and the pleasures of this world still obscure His beautiful designs for our lives, so that most often His Words in the Gospel fall on deaf ears.

“Come away by yourselves with Me to a deserted place and rest for awhile” (Mark 6:31). How sweet those words are to this troubled heart. How practical and necessary it really is to take time out from the hustle and bustle of the marketplace, so that we can commune with Jesus, our loving Shepherd, in His sanctuary.

Lord, grant us the grace to know the importance of taking time out an hour a day, a day in a week, or a week-end in a year to give to You. Prepare us, dear God for that day when we must also take the challenge to be sent out, as You had sent out your apostles to preach Your Good News of salvation. And when that day comes, let Your Holy Spirit sanctify this mission that we offer for the Father’s glory. Amen.

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