Body and Blood of Christ

Return of the Twelve

Mark 6:30-32


The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, "Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves.



Return of the Twelve

This is the second time in Mark's gospel that the disciples are too busy even to eat (the other reference is 3:20). It was time to get away and rest, but when they reached the place a crowd was waiting for them. The speed of Mark's gospel is unrelenting. Mark's source was Peter, who had always been at the centre of the action himself; so this is a special glimpse into the Twelve's first hectic experience of pastoral work.

It is interesting that Jesus did not insist on the day-off they had planned. Instead ‘he set himself to teach them (the crowd) at some length.’ The needs of the crowd came first; he was not forming the Twelve into an élite whose needs took precedence over everything. They were running the risk of burn-out, but it must be a risk worth running. It was a sad development when ‘the Church’ came to mean the clergy. This unfortunate usage is heard much less often now, but it is still in evidence: not so much in language as in attitude and reality.

Donagh O’Shea.



Quill Pen


This is the Story of Jesus drawn from the four Evangelists


The Mount

Unfolding the Story of jesus

Gospel passages accompanied by a number of brief commentaries

Unfolding the story of jesus