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The gospel today emphasises the importance of taking time for yourself as Jesus takes the disciples to a deserted place after all their hard work. It teaches an important lesson about remaining connected to Jesus if we are to be his followers. It is unfortunate for them that their break is interrupted. The crowd is thirsty for more and suffering from a lack of real leadership. Jesus has so much compassion for the people that the phrase Mark uses actually means he felt compassion in his intestines! A biblical way of saying he felt compassion for them in the pit of his stomach.
Next month we greet the shepherd of the Catholic Church as Pope Francis comes to Ireland for the World Meeting of Families. It will be a momentous occasion, a once in a life-time experience to see and to hear from a Pope who has so much to say to us about sharing the gospel message in our world. He calls us to be joyful Christians, to reach out to the poor and abandoned, to be disciples in our families, communities, on the streets and to help build a world that is true to Christ’s vision for this world. Pope Francis is a leader who inspires many. Whether you are travelling to the festival or watching it at home we pray for the success of this extraordinary event. Let us pray today for leaders in our Church and in our communities, that they will inspire people, nurture people and listen to the Spirit who guides us on this path.