16th Sunday of Ordinary Time, year ’B’ 16e dimanche du Temps Ordinaire, année’B’

“Jesus said to them, ’Come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for awhile.”
Sunday 12 July 2015

Jr. 23,1-6 Ps.22 Ep.2,13-18 Mk. 6,30-34

16th Sunday of Ordinary Time, year ’B’

“Jesus said to them, ’Come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for awhile.”

“The Apostles rejoined Jesus and told him all they had done and taught. And he said to them, ’Come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while, ’ ; for there were so many coming and going that there was no time even for them to eat.”

The Twelve come back, full of joy, from their first mission; they had gone out, two by two, to proclaim everywhere that people needed to be converted; they chased away demons and healed the sick. And so here they are back again, happy that Jesus had placed his trust in them, and tired, also, after this long journey. They certainly didn’t want to miss the grace of a community day of rest with Jesus! Jesus was the first to One to reserve moments of gratuitous prayer. So the disciples had the joy of meeting up with Jesus again: a time to recount their accomplishments to the One who had begun all this action that continues working through them. The Apostles begin to feel the weight of their mission, they need to be with Jesus and to find the strength they need from him ; so they understand that Jesus takes on Him his own mission as the one they re to accomplish! The mission is indeed accomplished through Him.Jesus accomplished the salvation operated in them. They are not the source of the action, Jesus asks them to remain in Him, the Source. He sends his disciples out two by two, assuring them that the Holy Spirit will be with them, but they must remain under the Father’s gaze. They become saviours with Jesus for they themselves are saved!

“So they went off in the boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves.. But people saw them going, and many recognised them; and from every town they all hurried to the place on foot and reached it before them.”

Jesus’ initiatives hide a kind of mystery that rests or make the disciples rest. Jesus is surrounded, harassed, in a tight situation from morning till evening; the disciples don’t even have time to eat, to cope with all the visits, so many people,

the poor and the sick are there, pressing around them, waiting, and Jesus goes off. Jesus accepts the constraints of prudence, the disciples feel that with him it will be restful, listening to Him and telling Him about everything. Once arrived in this place, Jesus sees the crowd, moved by the Holy Spirit, and he goes ahead of it. Jesus take upon himself separations : ’By his crucified flesh, he makes that which separated them : the wall of hatred.’ Jesus unifies in the Holy Spirit, he had committed himself to humanity flesh to flesh, heart to heart! He comes to the help of mankind in its misery. This combat will end at Calvary. Thanks to the body that Mary gave him, thanks to the heart of flesh she wove for him, He saves us! Thanks to his blood poured out truly manifesting his life given, he reconciled humanity. He will have reunited it in one body alone, like himself, with Mary, making just one body alone : the New Adam, the New Eve, united under the Father’s gaze. ’In his person, he killed hatred.’ John, who received Mary, placing himself at Mary’s school, will speak, of his glory. This mystery is already a mystery of glory.

“So as Jesus 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.”

“Come to me, all you who suffer under the weight of the day and I shall give you rest. Take on you my burden and learn from me for I am gentle and humble of heart.” We find the twelve disciples in the boat, resting while they listen to him, learning from his teachings, telling them everything they had done. But on the neighboring hills next to the lake, the poor didn’t take their eyes off Jesus’ boat that was going off from the shore. Seeing the direction it was taking, many understood to which place Jesus was taking his team. And when he gets out of the boat with his own, instead of finding a quiet, peaceful place of restful silence, he discovers on the coast a crowd of people come by foot from the whole region, the sick and poor running there to be healed or relieved, and also come there just to hear Jesus speak about the Kingdom of God. Seeing these thousands of thirsty people, Jesus feels great pity towards them. And what affects him most of all is the fact that all these people have no one to take care of them, no-one to guide them, no-one to see how they could be happy, to organise their efforts, no one to

think about the future with them. He sees them all, on the side, like sheep without a shepherd, and in their eyes and heart a great hope. Then Jesus, the model Shepherd, begins to give them in that place the essential food ; his word. He speaks to them longly about the Father, his love and his will. And at the end of the day, because he takes pity on their fatigue and hunger, he nourishes them all by multiplying five small loaves and two dried fih. As for the disciples, they serve. Five thousand men to feed, without counting women and children : that makes more than four hundred people per Apostle! What a day, Lord! They had thought they were on holiday with Jesus, and Jesus himself puts them back to work, as if he wanted them to understand his own worries as a Shepherd : ’The good shepherd gives his life for his sheep.’ Today Jesus saves us and we participate in his Salvation. The disciples know that everything isn’t accomplished in their lives! There are still arguments amongst themselves, but already they participate in this Peace that Jesus came to bring. ’ He leads me next to calm waters, He leads me along good paths.’ Jesus gives a word of Life, Blessed are the poor, do good to those who persecute you; bless, do not curse. Say good things about them.’ You prepare the table for me before my enemies, you spread perfume on my head.’ The Apostles are witnesses that the powers of evil retrieve in Jesus’ Presence. The mission they now bear is absolutely marvellous.

We ask for faith that opens up a path of salvation, the grace to continue Jesus’ work.

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