A Message from Melissa Wilkinson, Pastoral Associate at St. Mary's Church
Mark 6: 30-34
“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.
So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.
People saw them leaving and many came to know about it.
They hastened there on foot from all the towns
and arrived at the place before them.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them,
for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
and he began to teach them many things.”
Have you ever had one of those days? You know, the days where you’re so busy you didn’t even have a chance to eat? Do you ever just wish for that chance to rest in a deserted place? I just love this phrase from Jesus: “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” Here, He encourages His Disciples to take that time to rest.
Imagine how the Twelve felt hearing this message from Him. They had just returned from the Mission that Jesus had sent them on. Think of how exhausted they must have been. Do you ever feel weary after travel? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people saying, “I need a vacation from my vacation!” However, the Twelve were not on a vacation. They didn’t get to pack up their SUV; they had to walk everywhere. Remember, they had nothing to pack either, since Jesus gave them specific instructions not to pack anything additional.
So here they are, exhausted from not just travel, but preaching repentance, driving out demons and anointing and curing the sick. They were hungry (and probably pretty dirty as well, imagine all of that walking in their one tunic and one pair of sandals). But there were so many people coming and going, that they couldn’t even find time to eat.
So after Jesus heard all that they had done and taught, He encouraged them to find a place away from the people to rest awhile. I love that He encouraged this rest away from the world, and I appreciate that He led by example and rested himself throughout the Scriptures.
Now, when they went off in their boat, I have to believe that they were able to find at least a bit of relaxation as they soaked up time in the Presence of Jesus before arriving at their destination. Imagine the peace they must have felt just resting in the Presence of Jesus.
We have the same opportunity to have this rest in His Presence. Our doors are open for Adoration on Wednesdays from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. during the summer. There is nothing quite like escaping the outside world for even just a few moments, resting in His Presence of the Blessed Sacrament. We can also pause for prayer to spend a few moments with the Lord. God has also blessed us with so many beautiful places to escape locally where we can look around and feel that surely the Lord is in this place.
So the next time you find yourself so busy that you barely have enough time to eat, take a few moments to pause and see where you can find some rest in the Presence of Christ. Whether it’s taking time for prayer, escaping to one of our beautiful mountains, lakes or rivers, or walking through the doors of our church to get closer to Him, take that time to rest in the Presence of our Lord.
Peace be with you.