Today's Gospel: Mark 6:30-34
Jesus is so kind. He exudes love and mercy like no other. In today’s very short Gospel, Jesus shows the utmost kindness in two separate accounts.
First, He shows kindness to His disciples, when He offers them rest after their return from their journey of mission and evangelization. “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile” (31). Jesus knows the work He calls them to is demanding, and He knows their frailty and need for refreshment.
Then, even when their plans for rest are interrupted by huge crowds, Jesus shows the people nothing but kindness, compassion, and love. He does not tell them, “Come back tomorrow. Today’s our day off.” Rather, “his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things” (34).
The lesson for me in this Gospel passage is two-fold. First, if Jesus and His disciples needed rest, then I need rest. I need to take care of myself and get adequate rest, so that I can do the demanding work of motherhood that God is calling me to do.
Second, I am called to respond with compassion and kindness, love and mercy. When I am interrupted by one of my children, whether I’m reading, cleaning, or working on a project—and inevitably, I will be interrupted—I am called to respond to that interruption the way Jesus responds.
At the very heart of motherhood, I am meant to take care of my little sheep and help them with what they need, whether it is at a convenient or inconvenient time. Oh! How I fall short! How impatient I get when I just want to complete this or that, only to be interrupted for the fifth time! But with God’s grace and Jesus’ example, I can recommit today to kindness, tenderness and compassion in how I respond, especially when interrupted.
Do you get adequate rest, so that you can do your work well? How can you get a little extra rest and refreshment today or someday very soon? How do you respond to interruptions, whether by a child, someone else, or another situation that arises?
Dear Jesus, thank You for Your amazing example of kindness, compassion and mercy. You showed that so beautifully to Your disciples and to all people. And You show that so beautifully to me. Help me to find rest in You, so that I am fresh and ready to respond to the people in my life with Your same kindness, compassion, and mercy. Amen.
Copyright 2014 Sarah Damm