The Gospel Today
Saturday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
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 Jesus 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.
Reflection (Sem. Philip Faustino Volante):
What intrigued me in the Gospel was what happened to the disciples after Jesus told them to take a rest: did they take that much needed rest (because according to the Gospel, they never had time to eat), or did they help Jesus in His ministry?
I feel that the disciples took their rest, but of course they still insisted on helping Jesus in teaching and ministering to the people even if they are already tired, but Jesus told them to take their rest. I feel that Jesus is like a father to the disciples, caring and very much concerned to the people helping them. He never considers each one of them as a servant but as a friend. He shows his undying love to the people chosen by God to continue his ministry.
In the seminary, there are a lot of times when I would feel tired and want to give up and take a rest, but I know I still can’t because of the many requirements I need to accomplish. Stress would really attack not just once but for so many times that I felt like breaking down (well, actually I think I broke down already!). But just like a boxing match, God would always help and release me from stress before I get knocked out. Just like Jesus’ care for the disciples, He nurtured me and released me from stress by giving me a break, my free afternoon and with people who supports me in everything that I do, my family, friends, and a community who keeps on encouraging me and being with me in every step of my formation.
Being a priest in process, I know I should be prepared to give my whole self to the ministry. We are taught in the seminary that we are no longer for ourselves or for our families, but we are for the community of Christ. It may seem to be a tiring and exhausting task but I know that with God as our loving Father, and Jesus who is our caregiver, helping other people in their Name will be an easy and fulfilling task.