Who is Jesus to you?
I wanted to say, “He’s my Lord, my Life, my Love,” but instead I lamely answered: “He’s my boss.” I am in ministry, so technically I do work for Jesus, but it’s clear I constantly need to be reminded that the most important thing is what He has done for me.
Maybe that’s why I find today’s Gospel (Mark 6:30-34) so relatable. The Apostles gathered together with Jesus to report to Him all they had done and taught. We don’t know the extent of the debrief, but we do see the Shepherd’s heart as He lovingly cared for the spiritual and physical needs of His busy disciples.
Saint Mark recalls that “people were coming and going in great numbers, and they (the disciples) had no opportunity even to eat” (Mark 6:31). There are many times when the relentless needs of others (family, friends, and ministry) leave me hungry—not only for the meal I miss—but for the spiritual nourishment I need.
Each day my Shepherd invites me to withdraw from the demands of life and rest awhile with Him, whether for a few moments, a Holy Hour, or a longer retreat. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve ignored or resisted the invitation to be alone with the One Who alone can restore my soul.
Heeding Jesus’ advice, the disciples went off in a boat to a deserted place. Although their respite was short-lived as they crossed the sea with Jesus, it provided refreshment and rest. When they arrived, the vast crowd, hungry and in need of a Shepherd, were waiting. Jesus, moved with compassion, continued His mission—teaching, loving, feeding, and healing His sheep.
When we find our rest in Christ, allowing our hearts to be filled and refilled with His compassionate love, His mission continues through us. Sister, the One Who whispers to our weary souls, “Come away and rest awhile,” is not a benevolent boss, but the Good Shepherd in Whom we can confidently proclaim from today’s Responsorial Psalm, “There is nothing I shall want.”His mission continues through us. // Debra Herbeck Click To Tweet