Homily July 19, 2015 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
I find today’s gospel interesting, as it follows upon the sending out of the apostles. After their return, they reported all they experienced, and probably with much enthusiasm. Remember they traveled by walking, and how far and how long they were gone we do not know, but even in their excitement, they must have been tired. We see Jesus invited them to seek out a lonely place and rest a while. Even in ancient times,people knew the need to refresh the body and mind. Yet, we see the crowds saw them go and anticipated their destination and preceded them there. Jesus, being good and compassionate person, saw them as being like sheep looking for their shepherd to lead them. He put aside the apostles’ physical needs and taught and ministered to the crowd. And so it goes with possessors of the spirit, our time, our witness is virtually never ending. We are called to serve and witness as soon as we see the need to act. The spirit generates the love and the strength to reach out even at our inconvenient moments. While rest, convenience, solitude, even prayer all matter, what matters more the a person reaching out for help. It is not always easy to determine what help or need a person might have. We need to take the time to listen, to the person, and to the Spirit in our own heart. What measure will be given to us if we simply take for granted and just categorize people instead of knowing them? Sure we can not solve the problems of everyone we meet, but we can be loving and understanding and open to be the witness the spirit calls us to be.
Several times in the gospels, Jesus went off to quiet lonely places. When he could he prayed and communed with his Father. But as we saw today, he responded to those who sought him out and taught and healed despite what was his original intention. I think that this can be a reminder to us who are called to remain open and flexible in our lives as we meet and live out our lives among others so that even in our weariness we continue to witness. In actuality, what could be more refreshing than bringing peace to another.?