Saturday, February 07, 2015

Rest a While

May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep by the Blood of the eternal covenant, furnish you with all that is good, that you may do his will.  May he carry out in you what is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.  Hebrews 13:20-21

The Apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught.  He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”  People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat.  Mark 6:30-31

Sounds like Mark is giving us the first account of a Cursillo group reunion.  My guess is that Peter, Andrew, James, John and the rest gave an account of their week including the moments when they felt closest to Christ.  The notes from the New American Bible explain that the withdrawal of Jesus with his disciples to a desert place to rest attracts a great number of people to follow them. Just as Jesus fulfilled the inner longings of the Twelve, the Lord now turns his attention to the bigger church.  Toward this large gather of people of the new exodus Jesus is moved with pity; he satisfies their spiritual hunger by teaching them many things, thus gradually showing himself the faithful shepherd of a new Israel. 

We often see Jesus exemplify going away to rest a while in prayer.  Jesus endorses vacations, sabbaticals, and holidays and everything that is good.  However, you do not get all good things to surround you for your personal aggrandizement.  Hardly.  You get all good things so that you may carry out God’s will – not your own.

Every person needs to make sure her or his battery is fully charged.  To do so, we need to get out of circulation one way or another.  If it were only as easy to recharge our batteries as it is to plug in our phones.  Without pausing to rest a while, we may find our missions stalled on the side of the road awaiting a “jump start.” 

Today’s Gospel recognizes that sometimes we have to retreat to recharge before we can resume. 

How do you jump start your battery?  Listening to a great teacher?  Participating in a vibrant and meditative Mass celebration?  Going on a Cursillo weekend as a candidate, team member or supporter?  Group reunion? Vacations?

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