Jesus says to his disciples today, Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while. We are told by the narrator of the Gospel that Jesus said this because they had no leisure time or quiet time to eat because of all the comings and goings of people around them. And yet when they get to a deserted place, they find over 5000 people have thronged around them: and we have the miracle of the feeding of those throngs through the blessing of five loaves of bread and two fish.
There is always a need for balance in life - activity and time for refreshment/retreat. Sometimes those moments of refreshment can come to us in times of seeming craziness and activity. I wonder if after this miracle feeding, and the precursor of the Holy Eucharist we have today (the four fold Eucharistic action of taking, blessing, breaking and giving is done by Jesus today), I wonder if the disciples and Jesus felt that refreshment they were seeking when they first headed to what they thought was a deserted place.
Have you ever been involved with a complicated and stressful task, and in the midst of it or at its conclusion, felt a sense of contentment and release? Contentment and release at a job well done and completed. I think we can find that kind of quiet among the crowds in our Eucharistic celebrations: quiet prayer and joyful noise making in our singing. Does that happen every time for all of us: I don't experience that, but perhaps some do. But that experience of quiet among the crowds, a holy worshipful experience amongst the madness, has occurred for me and refreshment and peace and energy to go out and do what I am called to do emanates from those moments. And they are also treasured memories of a shared moment with others. They are a weird private - public spiritual moment that changes a person, subtly but permanently.
Don't be afraid of these moments - cherish them when they come.
Copyright 2010, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.