16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
July 22, 2018
Mark 6, 30-34
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 the disciples embarked 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.
When was the last time we went to a deserted place and rest for a while? It has been observed that many of us are afraid to be alone.
Living in this modern time, we want to be with someone or something (i.e cell phone). Without knowing it, our human brain is now cluttered with so many things and our human heart is clogged with a lot of emotional baggage.
In today's Gospel, the disciples came back from their mission and were all happy to share their accomplishments with Jesus. Jesus knew the importance of resting that's why he immediately invited them to go to a deserted place.
Neuroscience tells us that the human brain has 85 billion neurons (a neuron is a specialized nerve cell that transmits nerve impulses) and it functions very well if it is rested. That's why creative and inspiring thoughts literally dawn on us without effort when we are relaxed.
As an extrovert person, I am comfortably inclined to connecting to others and the world around me. That is how I naturally source my energies. However, I see to it that I spend silent moments everyday. I apply the three spiritual disciplines of solitude (to be alone), silence (free from external noise and inner murmuring) and prayer (connection with God/Jesus/Holy Spirit).
Do we want to recharge so that we will find new vigor to spread the Good News? Follow Jesus' advice: "Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while."
by Fr. Glenn Paul Gomez SVD