4th Week, Saturday, Feb 6
Hebrews 13:15-17, 20-21 / Mark 6:30-34
To Christ be glory forever: He brings out in you what is pleasing.
Shortly after Mikhail Baryshnikov defected from the Soviet Union, he completed a two-week run at the Kennedy Center. At the end of the two weeks, a critic wrote: “As the two weeks went by I realized something more amazing than the dancing of Baryshnikov was happening. A young woman, Gelsey Kirkland ...had been chosen by Baryshnikov to be his partner....“She sparkled; she was radiant; she was full of life.
And I realized that I was seeing the miracle of one person bringing out in another person her very best.” As today’s reading suggests, that’s what Jesus does for those who open their hearts to him.
What facet of Jesus and his personality has had the deepest impact on our life? “We get no deeper into Christ than we allow him to get in us.” John Jowett
In a final exhortation, the author of Hebrews sums up what he had said for the practical living of Christians. This is the blessing he wishes to his people. What a pity if our world would become so heartless as to do away with compassion? We hear in today’s good news that God shows in Jesus that he cares for us with a love deeper and more tender that that of a mother for the child to which she had given life. He is particularly close to those who need him most: the weak, those who suffer, the abandoned, and those who count for nothing. That is the love he showed us in Jesus; that is the love he invites us to have for one another: deep, tender, lasting, and not afraid of showing itself.
The need for rest and recreation seemed to be like a missing element in our lives. In our fast-paced society, we can even feel guilty about having some rest and recreation when everyone seems so busy. We may have become so used to busyness and hurried lives that we forget about the necessity of rest and recreation. But rest and recreation is not about doing nothing and sleeping our time away. It is about a quiet time for prayer and to refocus our hearts on God.
In the gospel when the disciples came back from their mission and reported what they had done, the response of Jesus was for them to go to a lonely place and rest. Because the temptation to do more and more especially with success after success can make people lose focus and perspective. We have to realize that success cannot be created by our own hands.
It is God who will give success to the work of our hands. Only when we are rested in the hands of God in prayer will our busyness bear fruits that last.
Our loving God, your Son Jesus, has revealed you to us as more warm-hearted, tender and compassionate than any mother could ever be. Be near to all who are wounded in life, care for the little people trampled upon. Make all those who follow your Son people who can forgive and heal, who make themselves like nourishing bread for all who are hungry in any way. Make us care for one another as you care for us through Jesus, your Son and our Lord for ever. Amen