Gospel Reflection for the
Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
It’s the end of the day and you have been on your feet for
the last twelve hours. If one more person makes demands on your good nature you will surely snap. Enough is enough; it’s time to retreat. It’s when you are feeling this desperate need for your own
space that you can perhaps best appreciate the compassion of Jesus in today’s gospel.
Exhausted by the demands of the crowds, Jesus and his
apostles escaped by boat to find a quiet place to rest. Unfortunately, the crowds worked out where Jesus was off to and beat him to it. Jesus stepped out of the boat to be greeted by the same crowd
he had just left behind. He might have been forgiven at this point for snapping, for showing complete exasperation. Instead, Jesus is moved by pity because ‘they are like sheep without a shepherd.’
These are people who long to be taught, or long to find cures for loved ones. These are people who have no one else to turn to but Jesus, and so Jesus sets about putting their needs before his
Jesus is not promoting a work-until-you-drop ethic here.
It’s important to remember in this story that Jesus was showing his apostles equal compassion. The apostles had just returned from their mission to evangelise. They had travelled many miles, and
spent many hours in preaching and in driving out unclean spirits. Jesus’ ministry had been timesed by twelve and it didn’t take a genius to guess that the small party of men, would suddenly be
swamped by excited crowds making hungry demands. Jesus clearly saw that his apostles needed rest and it was for this reason he suggested they make a get away.
We live a lifestyle nowadays where time has become
telescoped. We are surrounded by devices and modes of transport designed to save us time, yet we are left with a horrible feeling that somehow, instead of creating more time we have simple ended up
living in a fast lane. We work faster, travel faster and eat faster. We rush to fill our lives with more work and yet more work still. We take work home with us from the office and even take our work
on holiday with us. Retreating from the world is more important now than ever. We all need time to recharge our batteries both physically and spiritually. We all need time to slow down and decide
where our priorities really lie.
Association Handbook 2021
Everyone occasionally feels a need for inner rejuvenation.
Whether you want simply to reclaim your inner peace in the midst of a hectic life, or do some soul searching over your life directions, or go deeper into your spiritual life, going on retreat can be
a perfect solution.
The Retreat Association publishes a popular resource which
and programmes for 170 Christian retreat centres in the UK and beyond
• Details of
courses, networks and associations that promote spirituality and spiritual direction
• Retreats with
a theme - including painting, walking, Christmas and Easter
• Retreats for
guided retreats and quiet days
• Map pages
divided into regions
• An index to
all retreat centres
Order your copy online or by post
• It's ice cream
season, and the ice cream best associated with Fair Trade is Ben and Jerry's. Ben & Jerry’s operates on a three-part mission that aims to create linked prosperity for everyone that’s connected to
their business: suppliers, employees, farmers and franchisees.
• If you're
feeling adventurous, make your own ice cream using Fair Trade ingredients.
Supporting Our Charity
• Take a look
around. It’s likely that over half the things in your child’s wardrobe will not still fit him or her in September. Make up a bin bag and support your local charity shop.
• Charity shops
are a great place to pick up a book or a DVD. Take the children along and get the whole family to buy a couple of good books each for a summer read.
• If you pick up
a bargain, make sure to share on Facebook. We want everyone to support the local charity shops, they do a wonderful job.
Care for Our Common Home Summer Eco Tip Green
Save fuel, save cash and save the planet with greener
driving habits. For example:-
check your tyre pressure, remove the roof rack and keep windows closed to reduce drag. Remove heavy items from the car that you don’t need for the trip, eg baby buggies and golf
• Driving at 50
mph uses 25% less fuel than 70 mph.
acceleration and braking can use up to 30% more fuel and can cause increased wear and tear on the vehicle.
Magdalene 22nd July
Poor old Mary Magdalene. A prostitute, who is fallen
and redeemed? No not true. Mary Magdalene is mentioned in each of the four gospels in the New Testament, but not once does it mention that she was a prostitute or a sinner. At some point Mary
Magdalene became confused with the unnamed sinner from Luke's Gospel (7:36-50). In 1969 the Catholic Church declared that Mary Magdalene was not the penitent sinner of Luke’s Gospel. However the
image painted for us in medieval times is hard to eradicate from our imaginations.
We live in a very tense society. We are pulled apart...
and we all need to learn how to pull ourselves together.... I think that at least part of the answer lies in solitude. (Helen Hayes)