The apostles 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 he 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.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
What a gift for any one of us when someone offers their help—to go on an errand, to drive across town, to shop, to clean, to help in one way or the other. Sometimes I may be asked to clean up a mess I didn’t make, or stretched to the limit because someone else didn’t show up, or caught up in normal family or personal chaos. In such situations, how healing it would be to hear the words: “come and rest a little.”
Yet that is exactly what Jesus does. He invites us to bring him our personal needs and those of people we love. To lay before him the conflicts and personal issues, the worries of friends and family, the hopes and failures that are part of our daily routine. Imagine sitting quietly with Jesus before you; imagine Jesus looking into your eyes and saying: “Come and rest awhile; there is nothing here that you and I cannot manage together.”
—The Jesuit Prayer Team
I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Come unto me and rest;
Lay down, O weary one, lay down your head upon my breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was, so weary, worn and sad;
I found in him a resting place, and he has made me glad.
I heard the voice of Jesus say, “Behold I freely give
the living water; thirsty one, stoop down, and drink, and live.”
O came to Jesus and I drank of that life-giving stream;
My thirst was quenched, my soul revived, and now I live in him.
—Horatius Bonar (1808-1889), in Ritual Song, © 1996, GIA Publications, Inc.