Have you ever, while in the business of your day whether at work or home, thought in your mind, “I can’t wait for this day (or maybe this week) to be over so I can have some down time? What we are seeking is simply a time to sit, think, relax – and often a time to regroup as we look ahead to what is next on our schedules. In today’s Gospel, Jesus is gathering with his disciples and hearing from them all the work they were accomplishing in teaching those who wanted to know more about Jesus – ultimately about God. And Jesus says to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest for a while.” What a great invitation at the end of or maybe even in the middle of a busy day or week. “Come away” implies that you are removing yourself from the business and presence of others. Jesus understood the need to step away and rest. He knew his disciples had been in constant contact with people, serving them and teaching them, so diligently that they had not even taken time to eat. I think this may be more prevalent in our lives than we care to admit and I believe that Jesus calls us to a place of quiet so that we might be refreshed and renewed.
Could it be that when we are in the midst of the everyday chaos of life and we long for a time of rest and peace, that it might just be God calling to us? God calls to us for our own good; that we might turn to him to find the peace we long for. Jesus could see it in his disciples, and he sees it in us as well. We need only submit, give in, to receive the gift of the grace of God in our busy lives. Take a walk, sit on a favorite chair, park your car for a few minutes, go to your favorite quiet place where you can simply be – be in the presence and the comfort of God with you. When we know we cannot afford days away in a quiet place, we can gift ourselves with minutes, and even in that short time, we can be strengthened to continue to meet our responsibilities in life. Choose those moments for yourself; cherish them for the gift they will become to you. Rest in Jesus and be renewed. You will get back to the chaos soon enough! And that is just what happens in today’s Gospel; Jesus invites and accompanies his disciples to a deserted place, only to learn that the people had found out where they were going and met them there. As Jesus looked at the vast crowds, “his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like a sheep without a shepherd.” And he immediately began to teach them. He gave up his quiet time, to continue his mission, to care for the people who needed him. The same thing happens to us it seems, how many times have you “attempted” a quiet time that did not last as long as you would have liked? It’s like life and needs of others and commitments pull you back too soon. Somehow I feel okay about that, especially if it even happened to Jesus. But what we all need to remember to do is to get back to those moments of quiet as often as we can and we know by faith, Jesus is waiting.
Have a great week!
He Would Love First!
October 24, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC