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Six Little Words

You must come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while
Jeremiah 23:1-16; Psalm 23:1-6; Ephesians 2:13-18; Mark 6:30-34

Sermon Week Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 6:31

During the Pandemic, we were all confronted with many challenges, including reimagining the classroom. While some students adapted well, others did not. In that connection, I know there are parents here today who will relate to the following story.

At a large university commencement exercise, the School's President rose to address the graduates and confer their degrees. He began by explaining the meaning of the traditional Latin phrases used to rank their performance.

For example, if a student graduates "Cum Laude," it means "With Honors."

Next, he explained that "Magna Cum Laude" translates "With High Honors. And if a student graduates "Summa Cum Laude," it designates “With Supreme Honors.”

“But,” he continued, “there's a new honor I plan to use in the future to be called ‘Magna Cum Pellidentium,’ which means ‘By the skin of your teeth.’” -1

Living as we do, in this complex world of ours, we sometimes feel that in so many ways, we're holding on by the skin of our teeth. Or, in the words of Lewis Carroll (best known as the author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), "The hurrier I go, the behinder I get." And we feel the need to slow down, back off for a while, or simply get away from it all. We feel the need for some quiet time in which to think, maybe even to pray.

In today's Gospel Lesson, having been sent out by Jesus in pairs, the Apostles return and report to Him "all that they had done and taught." And Jesus says to them, "Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest awhile." Mark tells us that they had been so busy that "they had no leisure, even to eat" (Mk. 6:31). In Jesus' opinion, they needed a little time to rest and to reflect. And so, "they went away" by boat, "to a lonely place by themselves" (Mk. 6:32).

When our lives become too full and too fast, we have the same need to back off and relax. We need a little solitude in which to think things over. We need a little time [...]

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