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Last week, our Gospel told of Jesus sending out the 12 Apostles with authority over unclean spirits and heal the sick. Today, they have come back to Jesus. It appears that they have returned exhausted. Jesus said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” Even God rested on the seventh day after creating the world. This is a good lesson for all of us.
Resting, however, for his group of Jesus and the 12 was becoming hard to find. They had become very popular. People were coming to them for all sorts of reasons: to hear Jesus preach, to be near to him, and to seek a possible cure from him. The 12 were gaining notoriety by their association with Jesus. Even when they went to that deserted place for their mini retreat, people followed and flocked after them. For them, there was no rest for the weary.
Jesus could have said, “No more appointments today. We are taking a break.” Instead, Jesus looked at this vast crowd and his heart was moved with pity for them because, “they were like sheep without a shepherd.”
Now, trust me, we all need a break from time to time. As I alluded to already, there is a reason why the Lord gave us Sunday as a day of rest from work. I hope that people can get away and relax a bit this summer and make every Sunday a day set apart for the worship of God, time with our families, and rest from our labors. We are all human after all.
The point of this Gospel is that God never takes a break from us. Think of the vast crowds that come to Jesus every day in prayer; looking for him to feed them, cure them, save them. He is constantly looking at us with a compassionate heart. He is constantly shepherding us in the right path, sometimes through the dark valley, and always toward the house of the Lord.
Have a blessed week everyone.