In last week’s gospel we saw the disciples being sent off in pairs to proclaim the Kingdom of God. In today’s gospel we see them coming back. What happens? Compassion happens. Jesus welcomes them back and takes them to a quiet place to rest. The Lord’s work is demanding, tiring and challenging so Jesus reaches out to them responding to their needs. In a way, Jesus gives them space to recuperate, pray and “recharge their batteries”.
All awhile people are besieging Jesus. Jesus has now become an event; wherever he goes the crowds follow in great numbers. He even tries to escape by boat but the needs of the people are great and pressing and seemingly relentless. In the end, in a most moving moment, Matthew tells us that ‘His heart was moved with pity for them”. Jesus becomes their shepherd and all the beauty of Psalm 23 comes to mind. Perhaps we could all use the psalm, which is so familiar to us, each day this week and reflect upon it. Indeed when we use the psalms we get closer to the mind of Christ because the psalter was Jesus’s book of prayers.
I have the pleasure to announce that when the building work on the back of the rectory is finished (hopefully by mid-August … I know it has gone on a long time) the room off the kitchen will be for small groups’ meetings. This will take pressure off the rooms in the parish center. Scheduling has been a very difficult process this year but ultimately for a good reason – there is so much going on in the parish!
I had been wondering what to call this room; in consultation with the Parish Pastoral Council we have decided to call it the “DMJ Room” in honor of all the ministry and witness the Daughters of Mary and Joseph shared with us from 1964 -2018. A plaque with all their names will go up in that room.
May God bless you, your families, and the week ahead,
Fr Aidan Peter