Contemplating the Holy Humanity of Jesus

 The Apostles returned to meet Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a quiet place and rest a while. These are words from the Gospel of the Mass, which show us Jesus' solicitude for his own. The Apostles, after an intense apostolic mission, felt the natural weariness and exhaustion of their strength. The Lord immediately realizes this and takes care of them: they left in a boat to a quiet and secluded place.

On other occasions it is Jesus who is truly weary of the road and sits down by a well because he cannot take another step. He felt something so characteristic of human nature as fatigue. He experienced it in his work, as we do every day, in the thirty years of his hidden life. On many occasions, he ended the day exhausted. The Evangelists tell us how, during a storm on the lake, the Lord fell asleep at one end of the boat: he had spent the whole day preaching ; so intense was his fatigue that he did not wake up in spite of the waves. The Lord did not pretend to be asleep to test his disciples; he was really worn out with fatigue.

In these moments of real physical wear and tear, Jesus Christ is also redeeming humanity, and his weakness should help us to bear ours and to run with him. What a great consolation to contemplate the exhausted Lord! How close Jesus is to us at such moments!

In the fulfillment of our duties, in our generous commitment to our professional work, in the unstinting expenditure of much energy in apostolic initiatives and service to others, it is natural that fatigue should appear as an almost inseparable companion. Far from complaining about this reality common to all, we must learn to rest close to God and continually exercise ourselves in this attitude: "O Jesus! -I rest in you, " we can often say within ourselves, looking to him for our support.

The Lord understands our fatigue well because He went through situations similar to ours. We must learn to recover together with Him: "Come to me," He says, "all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. We are relieved of our burden when we unite our weariness to that of Christ, offering it for the redemption of souls. We will be relieved when we take special care of kindly charity towards those around us, even if at such times we find it a little more difficult. And we must never forget that rest is, at the same time, a situation that we must sanctify. These moments of distraction should not be isolated parcels in our life, nor an occasion to indulge in some selfish, self-seeking compensation. Love has no vacation.