In St. Mark’s Gospel today, we witness the apostles returning from their first journey as messengers of the love of God through His Son, Jesus Christ. Each is anxious to recall their individual experiences; sharing their “success” stories to the Lord Jesus. Prior to listening to their stories, however, Jesus gathers them together and tells the “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” Come and rest. Unfortunately, the vast throngs of people would not allow them that precious time; there were so many that required so much. Though weary, Jesus’ “heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd.” (Mk. 6:33ff)
Several times during Jesus’ ministry, either by himself or gathered with the apostles and disciples, He retreats to a mountain top, or to an isolated place “away from the crowds.”
Often in our lives, we forget the importance of going to a “quiet place” in order to collect ourselves and unwind from the turbulence of our lives. We fail to realize the importance of taking time with and for ourselves; time to re-think, to refresh our very souls. Just how vital this is to our daily lives. Like Jesus, we too must recognize that there are always more things to do, more tasks to accomplish, more people in search of our time and attention. Yet, if we find ourselves depleted, we cannot give what we fail to possess. By the very example of Jesus, we witness that even Shepherds need sleep; even the Son of Man needed a place of rest.
In the past, summer time use to be a “down” time for us. Yet, in today’s fast paced world that we live, there seems to never be a “down” time. Let us not forget that we too need some “quiet” in our lives, and unless we make that time, that place, nobody else will!