It should be very easy for all of you who are parents to identify with today’s Gospel. Mark tells us, or more likely his main source, Peter, tells us of how after the apostles returned from their first missionary journey, the beginning of which we witnessed last Sunday, Jesus wanted nothing more than to have a few quiet moments alone with them in order to share their experiences. They were so excited …so full of stories …some sad, some funny, but all of them meaningful. And Jesus desperately wanted to hear them all, to congratulate them, to thank them, to affirm them. But it seemed as though His day was never done.
The people He was born to serve seldom gave him a moment’s peace. When it became clear that the apostles had to compete with everyone else for a few moments of his time they became visibly frustrated and Jesus, seeing this and no doubt experiencing the same frustration said, "Enough is enough, let’s clear out of here, find a quiet place where we can be alone, have a leisurely supper and share your experiences.” They got into a boat and headed down the coast to a secluded spot but when they got there it was about as secluded as a town square on market day. Imagine their disappointment!
Jesus understood and shared their ever-growing frustration...but seeing the crowds, "He had compassion" for them and without another word He climbed out of the boat and began to minister to them.
How many times have you struggled with the demands of the day and looked forward to that time when the children would be finally in bed and you and your spouse could at long last relax in each other’s company undisturbed and then the spell is broken by that little voice from around the corner, "Mommy, Daddy …I'm thirsty!"
The next time you reluctantly get to your feet and share that frustration which accompanies a call to ministry during those all too precious moments …remember that you are following in the Spirit of Jesus and His apostles …the Gospel is your story too.