Mark 6:30-34 Reflection: Time to Rest

A reading from the gospel of Mark 6:30-34

30 The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught.
31 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.
32 So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.
33 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.
34 When he 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: There is a time to work hard and a time to rest and reflect.

Points to ponder:
1. The apostles were excited to report what they have accomplished. When the time comes, we too will give to our creator a report of what we have done in our earthly life. What would be the content of our reports? How many pages? Have we done a lot or too little?

2. Jesus tells His apostles to go a deserted place and rest for a while. Are you a workaholic with no time even to eat and to rest? Even church workers, pastors and priests included, are sometimes too absorbed in their work that they even forget their prayer time. Jesus himself showed that from time to time, He went to a deserted place to pray alone or with a few companions. We too should also find time to get away from the crowds in order to have time for rest and reflection.

3. Jesus made Himself available to people who are in need. He knew how to balance His schedule. Are you that worker who is difficult to approach? Indeed, there is a time to say yes to people and there is a time to say no. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to give us the gift of discernment so that we can be able to determine the proper course of action in every situation.

4. The Good News is that Jesus understands all our needs, especially our need to be taught of His ways. He is easily moved with pity for us. May we have pity on others too and make ourselves available to them in their hour of need.

*****

After the Apostles came back from their first training mission, Jesus saw how tired they were and invited them to have a rest. He wanted them to be away from the crowd yet the people still chased them and in fact arrived first before Jesus and His Apostles.

We all get tired from work and from problems. We get weary and weak from exhaustion. Sometimes, our fatigue is due to enormous task we imposed on ourselves. The gospel tells us that the Lord truly understands our physical limitations and He urges us to take a rest. In Matthew 11:28, He says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Many people work as if there is no tomorrow. Even if Sunday is declared a day of rest, a lot of people still go to work on this day. Working overtime and many times skipping meals in order to finish a report on time is indeed detrimental not only to physical but also mental and emotional health. Hence, the invitation of Jesus to “rest for a while” is to recharge not only our body but more so our spirit and thus preserve our sanity.

To rest for a while means it is a temporary thing. We rest so that we can have more energy to continue working. It means to retreat but not to give up. We rest so that Jesus can fill up or rather refill our depleted strength. Resting when tired is much like having a retreat when our faith is weakening. In the gospel reading above, Jesus is telling us to go to a place away from the hustle and bustle of city life, to have a retreat in a deserted place so that we can be able to focus on Him, to secluded place where He can teach us many things because nothing can be able to disturb us.

Gospel Reading and Reflection
Gospel Reading and Reflection (Background photo from pixabay.com)

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