Saturday, February 4, 2017

Reflection: Mark 6:30-34

Saturday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time – Mark 6:30-34

Today the disciples gathered around Jesus and reported on the preaching and teaching they had done in the past days.  They were very excited and pleased.  However, they also were tired and hungry.  They had been surrounded by people for days.  Jesus suggested that they go away from the crowds of people for a while.  
They all got into a boat and Jesus took them off to a deserted place.  The disciples believed that they would have some peace and quiet.  They also thought they would have time to talk with Jesus about their experiences. 

However, the people saw Jesus and the disciples leaving and they hurried after them to the place where Jesus was going.  Imagine the dismay Jesus and his disciples must have experienced when they saw the people who were waiting for Jesus.  Mark tells us, however, that Jesus was filled with pity and concern for the people.  Jesus recognized that the people were like “sheep without a shepherd.”  They were hungry and yearned to hear Jesus teach and preach.  They needed the spiritual nourishment that only Jesus could give them.  Jesus recognized their deep need and longing and sat down and began teaching.

At times, we also are like sheep without a shepherd.  At these times, it may be helpful to ask ourselves: For what am I hungry?  For what am I yearning? Do I recognize this hunger and thirst in others or do I stay focused on myself?

We are called to be like Jesus.  We are called to nurture the people in our lives, especially the lost, the forgotten, or the unseen.  Who would appreciate 5-10 minutes of your time today?  It doesn’t have to be intense conversation.  It often is a great gift to notice another.  What a simple and wondrous gift to give and to receive!  

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