There’s a frequently heard saying: “If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans!”
Just when you think that you’ve got everything under control and you try to take some time out to do something for yourself, something shifts in the universe and your best laid plans get interrupted! This seems to be the case in today’s Gospel, when Jesus tries to take some time out with his apostles. They’ve all been very busy about the Kingdom’s business, and Jesus wants them to come away to process, pray, and rest. However, they’ve been spied and their plans foiled when the crowds follow them and beat them to their place of retreat.
Surely, there were many emotions felt – frustration, exhaustion, disappointment, resentment, and anger at being stripped of their privacy. We understand these feelings, as we, too, have felt them many times when our plans were interrupted. Jesus, however, even as he felt these emotions, was overcome with pity and compassion. He was able to see beyond the emotion to the heart of the matter, to the pressing need of the moment, and respond accordingly, with love and gentleness.
This kind of action is the result of prayer and a trusting relationship with His Father. What about us? Do we have the spiritual fortitude (great gift of the Holy Spirit!) to get beyond the emotion to truly “see” the other and respond with compassion? Now is a great time to pray for that costly grace! But, watch out what you pray for… you may just get the opportunity to practice that virtue!
Sr. Michele Vincent Fisher