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Gospel reflection

July 19, 2015: Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

After distributing food to the family, Providence Food Pantry volunteer Diana Bird plays with baby Alise Parker, held by her mother Brandy Smith of West Terre Haute.

Photo: After distributing food to the family, Providence Food Pantry volunteer Diana Bird plays with baby Alise of West Terre Haute.

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 he 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. (Mark 6:30-34)

Reflection:

Jesus understands that people get hungry and tired. He encourages his apostles to rest and relax. They have just returned from a trip preaching and healing others. And he also sees that the people who came to hear him were confused and didn’t even take the time to eat—or perhaps there was no food there for them to get. He sees all this and he feels their hunger, pain and confusion. So even though he wants to “get away” and rest, instead he stays with the people and teaches them. (Next week we will hear how he deals with their hunger).

Action:

Are you sometimes too hungry to think straight? Too tired to play or pray? Jesus understands; tell him what is in your heart. Then be sure to get something to eat and drink; rest when you need to; go to bed early to get back your energy.

You can also be aware of the needs of those around you. Sometimes adults are so concerned about things that they forget to take care of themselves. It isn’t your responsibility to take care of them, but you can let them know you care. “Mom, you look really tired; can I help with something to get chores finished early tonight?” “Grandpa, would you like a glass of water?”

Beyond your family and friends, maybe you will have the opportunity to help out at a food bank or soup kitchen this summer, even if you’d really rather be doing something else—as Jesus seems to be doing in today’s Gospel.

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Alice Quinlan

Alice Quinlan is a retired educator who lives in Saint Mary-of-the-Woods Village and volunteers at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.

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