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 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. Mark 6: 30 – 34
In the book of the Prophet Isaiah we read, “Seek the LORD while He may be found; Call to Him while He is near.” We are all called to seek the Lord, to turn our focus to Him, and follow Him and dedicate ourselves as His faithful disciples, and remember the love with which He has patiently guided us, and nurtured us all with generous love and dedication. As we heard in our Scripture passages today, the Lord has always loved us and showed us His kindness.
In today’s Gospel, we read the report of the return of the Twelve, who were sent by Jesus to preach repentance, heal the sick, and drive out demons. When the Twelve return, he invites them to come away from the crowds and rest. But the crowds will not give them peace. The crowds continue to approach them, and Mark reports that the disciples don’t even have time to eat. To get away, Jesus and his disciples board a boat in hopes of finding a deserted place. But the crowds notice this and follow. The crowds are so persistent that Jesus and his disciples cannot find a place to be alone. Mark’s Gospel tells us that Jesus is moved with pity and begins to teach the crowds.
We who are Jesus’ disciples today have also been sent to share the Gospel with others. Perhaps our commitment to following Jesus as his disciple leaves us feeling tired and overwhelmed. In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus affirm the importance of times of rest and renewal. Jesus wanted his disciples to come away and spend time alone with him. Let us remember to take time to rest so that we may be reenergized to follow Jesus’ call.