An Exodus to Compassion

gospel-of-markThis coming Sunday is the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B, a gospel in which Jesus calls to the disciples. “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while” As noted in yesterday’s post, it is not just the disciples who answer the call. A multitude of people respond and not just follow Jesus, but anticipate him so that when Jesus and the disciples put ashore, the people are already there in that deserted place. Perhaps the place which Moses and Joshua spoke of looking to a greater “rest” (anapausasthe) the word also used of our eternal reward – truly, the ultimate intention of God. In this way,  And so the people are on a second exodus to find rest. Continue reading

An Exodus to Rest

gospel-of-markThis coming Sunday is the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B. The scene is that Jesus and the disciples have been moving around the Sea of Galilee in ministry. They have been at it for a while. Jesus admonishes them: The admonition “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while” And so they look to put ashore and to just that. But the crowds follow. “People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them.”
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A Reading of Rest

gospel-of-markThis coming Sunday is the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B. The admonition “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while” always catches my attention and I think to myself, “I need to do that.” As always I try to offer a context for the gospel we are about to read. After all Mark is writing a story and so it is good to remind ourselves where we are in the narrative. Consider the sequence of passages assigned to these summer Sundays (in juxtaposition with all the verses of Mark): Continue reading

Active Mission

jesus-apostles-endtimesThis coming Sunday is the 15th Sunday of Ordinary Time in Year B. The gospel for the day comes from Mark 6 and narrates the beginning of mission for the disciples.

The Message. 12 So they went off and preached repentance. 13 They drove out many demons, and they anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

The New American Bible (NAB) offers a translation that seems minimally functional – merely reporting that they set out on mission and what they did when they got there. A more literal translation of the verse is: “And the went out and proclaimed so that all might repent.” The second part of the verse is a hina clause in Greek, normally indicating purpose, aim, or goal. The purpose in their proclaiming is that people might repent, that is, have a change in mind/heart.  Such preaching will include the demands from God and our failure to live up to them. It also includes the grace of God that accepts the law-breakers. It includes the mandate to speak the truth in such a way that it leads people to repent, to have a change in mind about their own sinfulness and about God’s gracefulness. Continue reading

Mystery of human freedom

jesus-apostles-endtimesThis coming Sunday is the 15th Sunday of Ordinary Time in Year B. The gospel for the day comes from Mark 6 and narrates the beginning of mission for the disciples.

Instructions for the Mission. 10 He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave from there. 11 Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you, leave there and shake the dust off your feet in testimony against them.” Continue reading

For the Journey

jesus-apostles-endtimesThis coming Sunday is the 15th Sunday of Ordinary Time in Year B. The gospel for the day comes from Mark 6 and narrates the beginning of mission for the disciples.

Rejected by his own family and home crowd, Jesus preaches elsewhere and sends his twelve disciples out with special instructions and powers. It is good to remember that the apostles are not sent out as a reaction to the rejection. The mission of the apostles is part of a larger plan. First, Jesus had call them personally (1:16–20). Then he selected twelve special ones to accompany him (3:13–19). The Twelve, tutored by Jesus and present with him as he healed many from sickness and evil (chapters. 3–5), are now ready to become apostles, in Greek, literally the “ones sent out.” Continue reading

Come Away….

Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” (Mark 6:31)

We hurry too much, pure and simple. Our days are filled with things to do, people to meet, calls to make, emails to return, kids to drop off/pick up.  Doesn’t it feel like sometimes we just live our lives behind schedule? So much unfinished “stuff.”  We are behind, getting “behinder” and are always hurrying.  What’s wrong with hurrying?

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