Faith and Family

Faith and Family for July 18: The Return of the Twelve


Mk 6:30-34

The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”


UNDERSTAND | By Father Greg Friedman, OFM

Adventure writer Jon Krakauer wrote Into Thin Air, a first-person account of the 1996 disaster on Mt. Everest when eight people lost their lives in one day. Fierce storms, exhaustion, and human limitations in Everest’s unforgiving environment led to the tragedy. In his gripping account, Krakauer describes how the crucial relationship between guide and client might mean the difference between life and death.

Even when not life-threatening, a mountain climb challenges a person emotionally, spiritually, as well as physically. Today’s Gospel invites us into another challenging environment—a desert wilderness with Jesus as our shepherd and guide. We’re invited—along with his disciples—to “come and rest.”

Summer is a time when we seek out places of rest and leisure with our families to “re-charge” and get new energy for our lives. Liturgically we’ll do something similar starting next week. We’ll read from the Gospel of John for five weeks, from the section known as the “Bread of Life Discourse.” It shows Jesus as both our shepherd-guide and our source of nourishment. Our Scriptures will help us understand better how he does this in the Eucharist. Along with leisurely reflection, we’ll also be challenged: Can we take the responsibility ourselves to feed Christ’s people?


DISCUSS | By Father Dan Kroger, OFM

In the first reading (Jer 23:1-6), Jeremiah reports the Lord’s warning to the priests who are supposed to lead the flock of God’s pasture. Instead, what are they doing?

What will the Lord do to those evil shepherds? After that what will the Lord do?

Who will the righteous one be?

In this week’s second reading (Eph 2:13-18), Paul tells the people that those who were once far off have become . . .what?

Who broke down the dividing wall of the law and its commandments?

Who has made peace, made it possible for believers to have access in one Spirit to the Father?

The Gospel (Mk 6:30-34) says that the apostles came together with Jesus. What did they then do?

Were the people disturbing things enough that Jesus urged them to get into a boat by themselves and go to a deserted place?

What did Jesus do when he saw the crowds come looking for him?


Take some time today and rest—even if it’s only for a few minutes—just as Jesus instructed the disciples to do.

There was a time when most everything shut down on Sunday’s as a day of rest. This Sunday, try to see if you can stay home and relax instead of running around doing errands or other things.

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