Vocation Meditation - <br /> July 19, 2009 > Vocations.ca

Vocation Meditation -
July 19, 2009

The Apostles returned from their mission. They gathered around Jesus, and told Him all that they had done and taught.

He said to them, "Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves.

Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. As Jesus went ashore, He saw a great crowd; and He had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things.

Mission work with the people of God created a toll in the personal space of the Apostles. The demanding crowd insisted on claiming this space and their moments with Jesus. Their preaching and healing were sought for. Everywhere the crowd followed them. Jesus noted they had no time to eat. He cared for them. He suggested they needed rest, solitude and privacy.

Here we see what might be called the rhythm of Christian life and of ministry.

Our Christian life is a continuous movement of going to God and seeking 'His face' and from Him we go to meet our brothers and sisters and vice versa. Each encounter feeds the other. This creates in us a healthy rhythm of prayer, work and rest.

Jesus made us aware of the two dangers we have to avoid.

First, there is a danger of constant activity for a disciple. We cannot live best our Christian life and our ministry if we fail to balance prayer with work and with rest. We need enough space to commune with God, enough space to carry out His mission and enough space to recharge our energies. To do God's work effectively, Jesus invited His apostles to seek, in quietness and in solitude, the presence of God so that in Him they may align their efforts and their message to His will.

Secondly, there is a danger of too much withdrawal from activity. Devotion to God must lead to action. Prayer that does not produce action is not real prayer. Seeking God's fellowship does not lead us away from meeting our brothers and sisters in need. The rhythm of Christian life is made up of meeting God in the 'deserted' place and of serving God's people in the 'marketplace'.

Even if Jesus desired the best of space for His Apostles, His heart felt compassion towards the crowd. Their desperate need moved Him to take upon Himself to teach them many things as a Shepherd tending to the needs of His flock.

Vocation Challenge:
"Come away by yourselves and rest a while."
How do I strike the balance in my ministry of giving myself enough space for prayer, for work and for rest?

Dear God,
You have great compassion to those who seek You. Give me a compassionate heart. Make me aware that my vocation to serve the poor will be effective in Your Kingdom to the measure that I balance the rhythm of my prayer, work and rest each day. Amen.

For the full Gospel reading for this Sunday, visit the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops site.

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