Gospel of Mark 6:30-34
come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while
The apostles rejoined Jesus and told him all they had done and taught. Then he said to them, ‘You must come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while’; for there were so many coming and going that the apostles had no time even to eat. So they went off in a boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. But people saw them going, and many could guess where; and from every town they all hurried to the place on foot and reached it before them. So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length.
I am struck by the rhythm of relationship formation as a follower of Jesus.
The apostles have been out encountering others and sharing the gifts of being empowered by Jesus.
They return to Jesus and are overflowing with the graces they have shared and received.
In speaking out loud about these things and being listened to and their hearts held and heard, they further incarnate or make concrete the graces received. I imagine the experiences are becoming etched on their hearts.
Jesus then invites them to become still and relish what has happened. To let it sink in and be completely absorbed, letting the transformation happen at depth.
Becoming nurtured by God in the experience – for ‘It is not knowing much but realising and relishing things interiorly the contents and satisfies the soul’ (St Ignatius 2nd annotation of the spiritual exercises)
The disciples learn that these graced encounters attract others. However to notice that Jesus doesn’t immediately send them out again but instead, Jesus as leader, spends time teaching the crowds that flow in, while at the same time, perhaps he protects the disciples from the intensity of too much work.
They are learning the balance of going out; the need to come back and share; becoming still and relishing all; and always referring all to Jesus as leader and thus avoid becoming over burdened.
In my prayer,
I reflect on the rhythm of my day –
I notice times of life giving encounter
I notice times of sharing and listening in community.
I notice times of solitude and stillness.
I notice times of accepting my humanity and allowing God to do the rest.
I listen to Jesus teach and ponder what he might be saying.
After reflecting on these points, I ask Jesus for what I need and desire in my own rhythm of relationships with others, my work and creation.