22 July 2012, Gospel Thoughts

July 22, 2012 at 08:00 2 comments

In today’s Gospel Story (Mark 6:30-34) Jesus invites his disciples to “come off to a deserted place by yourselves and rest a while”. The crowds find them, and “he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd”.

The Stories about Jesus show us how God “thinks”. There is a lot going on these days: the shootings in Aurora, Colorado; the unemployment situation; the economy; the rising level of violence; the nasty messes in the Church and the anger and frustration they engender; the suffering that is part and parcel of everyday life — failed relationships, gender and sex discrimination, abuse of power and authority, and the bitter polarization these give rise to; and many more such things.  The Story reminds us that Jesus has compassion on us, too.

The Story reminds us that Jesus invites us to come away with him to a deserted place. This sounds like an invitation to go on a retreat, but it is more than that. Jesus invites each of us to come away with him to a deserted place often, even every day. To go off with him for a few minutes, or as long as it feels comfortable, to spend some quiet time with him. When we do this two things seem to happen. He becomes real to us, and in any number of ways we come to sense, even to know, his compassion for us. He becomes real for us, someone close in ways we cannot really put into words.

Also, we begin find ourselves in unexpected situations with others who are hurting, and bit by bit we become aware that Jesus’ compassion for others is happening through us, even as we sense his compassion for us happening through others. We seem to become less judgmental and more accepting of folks where they are. We no longer have the need to impose our values or views on them. While we might not agree with them, we come to see them as good folks trying to get through a life that is not all that easy In other words, they are just like us. There is too much judging, finger pointing, and threatening in the name of Jesus already, none of it really coming from Jesus. It is good to know we don’t have to accept it or be a part of it. Instead, we can be part of healing the pain it causes.

With all this pain that is inflicted on folks in the name of someone’s version of Jesus, we need some time away with Jesus ourselves so we can come to know him as he is, not as we want him to be or think he should be. As in the Story, he begins to teach us many things. Not questions and answers or codes of conduct, but the goodness and suffering in every one of us.

This coming to a deserted place is not just something we add to our already crowded “to do list”. As we get used to doing it we find it becomes a very important part of our day that gives context to everything else in our life. It is a simple few minutes that we manage to set aside in some way, depending on our state in life. It is not limited to monks, nuns, or ”holy people” (whatever they are). There are many different approaches to this: Centering Prayer, Jesus Prayer, to name a few.

Whatever approach we choose, we soon begin to know that, no matter what is going on in our life, we are not alone.


Entry filed under: Catholic, Gospel thoughts, Priest. Tags: , .

15 July 2012, Take Nothing for the Journey More Thoughts, 22 July 2012

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cdrome  |  July 22, 2012 at 08:14

    Right on! Good thoughts and pretty much my homily for today.

  • 2. cdrome  |  July 22, 2012 at 08:16

    Right on! Got my homily for today


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