By: Ivonne J. Hernandez
In today’s Gospel, the twelve return from their mission exhausted, having had barely a chance to eat. Jesus tells them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while” (Mk 6:32). They got in the boat and went with Jesus. When they arrived, rather than finding peace and solitude, they found a large crowd of at least five thousand men. Not only did the Apostles not find a quiet deserted place, but when they point out to Jesus that the crowd needs food, He tells them, “Give them some food yourselves” (Mk 6:37). Why would Jesus do that? Why would He invite them to rest only to make them work and feed five thousand men instead?
It is not in God’s nature to deceive men, so there must be something else in this apparent discrepancy. I go over the passage again and read, “So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.” They got in the boat WITH JESUS. Jesus was with them in the journey. The boat itself was the place of rest, not just the means to a destination. The moment they acted in accordance to God’s Will and entered the boat, they found their rest. “Besides restful water He leads me, He refreshes my soul… my cup overflows” (Ps 23). Their cups were full. They had now enough to give to five thousand men.
“Rest a while.” We need to listen for those words. When we are tired and weary we need to listen and remember that it is in the arms of our loving Father that we can rest. It is there where we can fill the needs of a lifetime in what seems like a little while. In the infinite fountain of His love, even a quick glance will make our cups overflow. “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28)
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We are Ivonne Hernandez, Rick Hernandez and Laura Worhacz, Lay Associates of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, and brothers and sisters in Christ.