The Gospel shows us the characteristic of a Good Shepherd who continues to be a shepherd even amidst tiring situations. A good shepherd finds rest even in challenging situations. Being a shepherd with eyes of pity for the people, He continues His ministry of shepherding.
When I was still serving as a liturgist in our parish, even though I was dead tired of hospital duties, I would still find time to go to the parish. I would call it, as I have heard it from a colleague, “Happy Pagod” (joyful fatigue). One time when I was assigned to a night shift at the hospital and the following morning was Sunday, I decided to go to church right away instead of going home first. My mother asked me, “Aren’t you exhausted from work? You need to rest.” When I needed rest to regain my strength, I would find it whenever I serve rather than just lay in bed and do nothing. It is the passion that drives me to do something beyond my physical strength. It is the passion that urges me to serve without reservations. Indeed, we can find strength when we have passion.
Reflecting on the purpose of resting, I ask myself, is it not about regaining strength? Is rest only fulfilled by sleeping, by laying still in a relaxing ambiance, or being in solitude? I see in the Gospel a different way of regaining strength. It is about being moved by the sight that something or somebody needs help and being there to fulfill their need can also be a way to be energized and strengthened.
I pray that I may have the eyes of the Good Shepherd. As a priest-in-process, may I see with eyes of mercy and have the passion for shepherding. May I always find rest and regain my strength as I fully give myself in the exercise of my ministry.
By: Sem. Paulo O. Magistrado
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.”
People were coming and going in great numbers,
and they had no opportunity even to eat.
So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.
People saw them leaving and many came to know about it.
They hastened there on foot from all the towns
and arrived at the place before them.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them,
for they were like sheep without a shepherd;
and he began to teach them many things.