The apostles returned and reported to Jesus all they had done and taught. Then he said to them, “Go off by yourselves to 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.
READ: After a successful mission, the Apostles returned with good news for their Teacher. So successful were they that people followed them even there. So Jesus instructed them to go to a quiet place to recharge. But the people followed them and went to the place ahead. So Jesus took over because of His compassion for His disciples and the people who were eager to learn more about the good news His disciples had unleashed.
REFLECT: Quiet moments are needed after a hard day’s work. There are things to be thought about, actions and responses to be deciphered in peace and an assessment of one’s personal environment after the work is done. Jesus knew the magic of taking time off from work. He Himself went to a quiet place every now and then to commune with His Father and with Himself. And so He wanted His disciples to taste the refreshing power of rest. But life is not a neat puzzle that can be ordered as wanted. The people whose hopes and dreams were rekindled when the disciples let loose the good news of Jesus didn’t have the luxury of time to rest. So they imposed themselves to Jesus’ group. And here shone one of the reasons why the disciples never hesitated to follow Jesus. He did not merely command. He took over when His disciples were already spent and continues to do so until today.
RESPOND: Do I believe in the healing power of rest, or do I equate fruitfulness with continued activity? When was the last time that I truly rested and not merely went on vacation to take stock of my life? Today is a good day to rest and recharge. Today, I will allow the Lord to take over while I enjoy my quiet moment.
PRAY: Lord help me to see that action and inaction are merely two sides of the same coin. May I learn to profit from both whichever of the two is at hand and allow You to take over from time to time so that I may enjoy my rest. Amen.
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