The apostles returned and reported to Jesus all they had done and taught. Then he said to them,
Let us go off by yourselves into a remote place and have some rest.
For there were so many people coming and going that the apostles had no time even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a secluded area by themselves.
But people saw them leaving, and many could guess where they were going. So, from all the towns, they hurried there on foot, arriving ahead of them.
As Jesus went ashore, he saw a large crowd, and he had compassion on them for they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.
To develop skills in life, nothing can replace experience as the best teacher. What we learn from work experience may remain only on the superficial level, if we do not take the time to internalize it. There is the danger of becoming workaholics, a temptation to which people can give in to prove their worth or to gain approval from others. In today’s gospel, after the apostles returned from their first work assignment in the mission, Jesus invites them to “go off by yourselves to a remote place and have some rest.” Jesus knew the demands of the mission were so great that the apostles did not even have time to eat. The invitation is also meant for us as an antidote to the danger of overwork when we can break under the weight of a burnout. We need to go to a quiet place where there are no distractions so we can rest in God and listen to what our experiences are teaching us. If we do not give ourselves rest, then we will not be able to take care of others. If we do not slow down, we will be of no use to anyone, especially God.
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