Even these “lazy days” of summer can be busy and draining. In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus acknowledges our human need for rest and models both compassion and self-sacrifice.
While on a family vacation last week, I got a glimpse of the daily life of my younger sister. As they tended to the needs of their four young sons, she and her husband were constantly vigilant of the younger two near the water as they are not yet swimmers. When other adults made plans to go out on a boat or a brewery tour, they initially held back due to the need to keep an eye on their boys.
I, on the other hand, am an empty-nester. I adore my young nephews and cherish my time with them since they live 600 miles away. Whenever I could, I gave my sister and brother-in-law a break so they could enjoy some vacation time and a few all-too-brief periods of rest from their constant vigilance. While I consider myself busy, my sister is definitely more constantly so.
In Sunday’s Gospel, the needs of the crowd were so great that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat. (I’m not quite that busy either.) When they got into a boat to escape the crowds and take a rest break, the people followed them. Instead of turning the crowd away in favor of much needed rest, Jesus modeled both compassion and personal sacrifice when he taught the people who sought him out.
We pray that you are finding periods of rest and refreshment this summer. When the needs of others prevent you from resting when you’d like, think of Jesus who was in the same boat. He will help you find the compassion, sacrificial love, and, eventually, the rest you need.
Image credit: Submitted photo of Joan’s nephews Mark (age 2) and Henry (age 5)