"People were coming and going in great numbers, making it impossible for them to so much as eat." —Mark 6:31
Jesus tried to take a day off, or at least an hour off. He wanted to stop and eat for a change. So He got into the boat with His apostles and went off to a deserted place (Mk 6:32). However, hundreds, even thousands, of people ran around the lake, and what was supposedly a deserted place was packed with a vast crowd (Mk 6:33). So there was no rest and no food for Jesus.
Most people get rather irritable when they don't eat and sleep enough. When our stomachs are growling and our eyelids drooping, we naturally have a tendency to focus on ourselves and our own needs. Yet Jesus reacted to the overwhelming demands from the crowd by dying to Himself and loving the people. Jesus forgot about His needs and "began to teach them at great length" (Mk 6:34).
Jesus hung on the cross and died on Calvary, but this was not His first death. Jesus' three hours on Calvary completed thirty-three years of dying to Himself because of His love for us. In the same way, let us pick up our cross daily, follow Jesus, deny our very self (Lk 9:23), and die to ourselves repeatedly (Jn 12:24).
Prayer: Jesus, thank You for Calvary, for long days, fastings, hard work, self-denial, and Your love.
Promise: "I give you a heart so wise and understanding that there has never been anyone like you up to now, and after you there will come no one to equal you." —1 Kgs 3:12
Praise: St. Jerome learned discipline in the Venetian army, and discipleship in God's.
Reference: (To learn more about the Bible to die to self daily, we have a forty-tape audio series of teachings on the New Testament. To start, order the four tapes covering Matthew, #700, 701, 702, and 703.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 8, 2013
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