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. Randy Buquis):
The Gospel today shows how Jesus expresses himself and how sensitive he is to the needs of his disciples. If we can see in the gospel narrative how hard they have been working, and seeing that they need some break from the people and from work, Jesus tells them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”
We can also see in the Gospel how Jesus shows his more balanced life. He was so available to all those in need, the poor, the sick, the outcasts but there was a limit to his availability. He knew when he needed to get away, to renew contact with his Father, to “recharge his batteries.”
It is good to ask myself what are those things that hinder me to see the need of others, my brothers, batchmates and the community. Maybe my self-centredness and poor awareness of other people’s needs and not bothering to meet them are some that I need to focus with.
I remember last Christmas break wherein I was able to have an opportunity to serve in the Simbang Gabi Masses in different areas under our parish. Most of the time we have a schedule three to four masses continuously every night. One seminarian asked our Asst. Parish Priest like this: “Father, do you not feel tired during your seminary life since you started pursuing your vocation as early as high school or minor seminary.” Our priest replied: It is not too difficult for me to have my seminary life even I started early because I net myself that whatever I’m doing in the seminary is as if it is already of being a priest. It was a humbling answer for me that inspires me to have strength in the many times that I fell tired in my own circumstances in seminary formation.
People are not machines but human beings. But one thing I know that no matter how tiring we are experiencing now we can also find rest by offering them to God. All of us in our life, at Church, at school or at work, life is a struggle against weakness and devil. The busyness of our time and its steady pressure tempt us to forego the rest we need. But the rest that we should not always forget is our spiritual rest because our souls need time hearing our Shepherd’s voice: “I am your shepherd and you are my sheep.”