Mark 6:30-34

Short Homily on Mark 6:30-34

'The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.'

It's good to hear this passage of scripture, without hearing what comes after. If you read on, it would be far to easy to ignore what we just heard. Why? Because what follows is the feeding of the 5000.  Here we have a few simple lines about the disciples returning to Jesus, a promise of some quiet times, and the introduction of a large crowd miles from home. So is this passage just the setting of the scene, a literary journey to where Mark really want us to be? Well I don't think so.

We know from earlier in Mark's gospel that Jesus sent the disciples out to preach repentance, cast out devils and heal the sick. We also know that they took very little with them relying on the Lord to provide for them. It must have been a hard and marvelous journey for them, and they returned tired and in need of rest.
On first reading I felt sorry for the disciples, their promise of some quiet time disappeared when they saw the large crowd waiting for them on the bank. I thought, the Lords work is never done, I smiled and thought this is a good example for us, deacons in formation, we need to get used to the call of the Lord.

But then I prayed about what I should be saying today, and that  wasn't it. Then the line “Sometimes the journey is enough” got stuck in my head.

When they arrived on the shore and saw the crowds they were ready. We don't know what happened on the boat, but we do know the disciples spent the journey in the company of Jesus, and that was all they needed.

As Christians we have been called to do the Lords work. It's a wonderful job and a demanding job and sometimes we get tired. Like last week, I got home on Thursday evening, with 30mins to eat, change and get back out the door to teach an evening at our journey in faith class. Gail looked at me, and said “I'll drive you round tonight love”, we spent ten minutes together in the car, Gail, me & God. I got out of the car refreshed and and ready for the evening.

We can do wonderful things with the Lord, and like the disciples in today's gospel we get tired, and sometimes we don't have time to stop, but sometimes, as long as Jesus is with you,
the journey,  is   all   you   need.

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