By Fr. Andrew Kelly
16TH SUNDAY ORDINAL TIME, JULY 22
It is Sunday. The believing community has spent the week living Jesus’ mission. In the words of Sunday’s Gospel (Mark 6:30-34), the community has “gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught.”
Jesus’ response is an invitation: “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.”
The worship space becomes the “deserted place.” The needed rest is provided as the community listens to Jesus in the Scriptures; and then consumes the offered body and blood.
If the community skips the quiet reflective rest time with Jesus, the community’s mission will be thrown off balance and unable to handle all the demands of Jesus’ mission. The community and its mission will soon die from sheer exhaustion.
As Sunday’s Gospel indicates, mission demands were so great that Jesus and the apostles could not even find time to eat.
But with the appropriate rest centered upon Jesus’ living presence in the Word, body and blood, the community is able to tap Jesus’ energetic compassionate heart. This energetic compassion is what keeps the community faithful in mission.
Missing the quiet reflective desert time rest with Jesus places the community and Jesus’ mission in great peril.
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)
Scripture Readings for July 22-29
Mi 6:1-4, 6-8
Mi 7:14-15, 18-20
2 Cor 4:7-15
Jer 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13
2 Kgs 4:42-44