Pentecost +8 - Year B
After the Herod/Herodias/”Salome”/John interlude we are back at the ranch with Jesus and the apostles. They had been off teaching and healing and were reporting their success after Jesus had been stymied in Nazareth.
For folks unused to their tasks and running on adrenaline, Jesus noticed they were about to crash and took them on a mini-retreat. Except, as typical in Mark’s breathless recounting, there is no respite.
Consider that compassion may be an adrenaline antidote. It smooths out responses and refocuses attention toward a larger picture.
In this pericope we miss more adrenaline producing events of being challenged to impossibly feed 5,000 males (not mentioning females nor intersex persons) and challenging headwinds and a ghostly apparition.
The most important part of this is a missing line (verses 51-52) — the apostles were so astounded they couldn’t put two and two together.
As a result, the apostle’s foray into teaching and healing is brought to an end. The focus is back on Jesus who has consolidated his teaching and healing again after Nazareth. This could be seen as a disrespecting of the apostles. They can’t feed folks and their puny teaching and healing pale before Jesus’ work with so many. Who could hope to live up to this, much less exceed it (presuming the author of the Gospel of John - got it right).
This has a feel to it that Jesus is always the answer, no matter what the question. Blessings on you as you claim what you have taught and renewed, no matter how seemingly inconsequential, as yours and valued.