Saint Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs (Memorial)
The Apostles gathered together with Jesus. (Mark 6:30)
“Technically, you have an hour for lunch,” the boss told the new hire. “But most of us just eat at our desks and keep working.” This is a common message, given our production-oriented world where the bottom line can become the most important consideration.
What a different approach Jesus takes! When the apostles return to him after their first independent mission journey, he doesn’t pat them on the back and then hustle them back out into action. He tends to their needs. “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while,” he invites them (Mark 6:31). He knows they need nourishment, rest, and renewal. He knows they are not just workers but people—and friends at that!
Did you notice too that Jesus didn’t comment on the apostles’ positive report? Results took a backseat for a time. It was more important that the Twelve learn that their strength and success come from God, not their own unique qualifications. Focusing just on the results could give the wrong impression; it could hint that Jesus was concerned only about the number of conversions and not also the hearts of his messengers.
How often, after a long day of work, do you like to rest and unwind? Perhaps you watch a television show. Maybe you have a glass of wine. Or maybe you take a walk with your husband or wife. Each of these is a way of finding your own “deserted place” where you can “rest a while” (Mark 6:31). But as you’re resting, make sure you are resting with Jesus. Try to get into the habit of gathering with Jesus at the end of the day. Spend a few minutes in prayer or pondering a short Scripture passage. Come away with him, and let him refresh you as only he can.
Come away with him, also, every Sabbath to soak in his word and receive his Body and Blood. Lay your work, your concerns, your successes, and your failures at his feet, and let him take care of them. You have spent all week taking care of other people; now let him take care of you.
“Father, I know I can’t live without relying on you. Thank you for giving me Sunday as a day to rest and return to Jesus.”
1 Kings 3:4-13
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