16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
First Reading: Jeremiah 23: 1-6
Second Reading: Ephesians 2: 13-18
Gospel: Mark 6:30-34
As we experience these dog days of summer is there any better time of the year to get away and retreat into a place and space of our own choosing? The sun shines brightly, the summer rains tend to be gentle, and the evening skies are aglow. For many of us there is a need to seek permission to get away from the business of life whether it is our places of ministry, family commitments, or just the clutter of our own minds. In today’s Gospel after hearing how the apostles had spent their day, Jesus offers the permission we seek by offering the following invitiation, “Come by yourselves to an out-of-the-way place and rest a little.” This time of retreat in our own lives can be as short as a few minutes or as long as a week. When we are able to close our minds to the world around us and open them to the Spirit and voice of God we are providing ourselves and others with the opportunity to be refreshed and renewed so our journey does not become burdensome, fruitless, or mundane. When was the last time I stepped away from the fast pace of life and spent some intentional time with God? From whom or from what do I need some retreat time?
Gracious and loving God, thank you for giving me permission to retreat and rest. May this invitation come to fruition so that I may be refreshed and renewed in your loving Spirit! I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Jane Schaefer, Associate
Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg