The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves.
Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
We frequently hear people promoting the importance of “self care,” meaning taking care of ourselves rather than only caring for others. This is important whether we are caregivers by profession, at home, or among friends. Jesus recognizes the importance of taking care of one’s own needs, whether they be spiritual, mental, or physical. The disciples have returned after being sent out to teach and heal. Jesus invites them to take time for themselves to rest.
At first glance, it seems that Jesus doesn’t follow his own advice and take time to rest himself. Indeed, immediately after this passage in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus feeds the 5,000 (the “great crowd” that had followed him). But after serving the physical and spiritual needs of others, he dismisses both the crowds and his disciples and “went up on the mountain to pray” (Mk 6:46).
What can you do today to care for your own spiritual or physical needs? After giving some focus to your own needs, what can you do to care for the needs of another?
—The Jesuit Prayer team
Lord Jesus, you spent your earthly ministry teaching and healing all who came to you. Help us to follow your path of caring for others. You also knew the importance of taking the time to refresh yourself and frequently went off alone to pray. Help us to follow your path of rooting our lives and work in prayer so that we can take care of our own needs in order to better love and serve others. May we find the balance and strength to labor with you to build your kingdom here on earth. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer team
Please share the Good Word with your friends!