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In today’s reading, Jesus stresses the importance of rest, reflection, and prayer. We remember from last week’s reading that Jesus sent his 12 apostles out into the world to preach and heal. This week’s Gospel begins with their return.

After arriving home, the apostles recount all that they have done and taught to Jesus. Satisfied, Jesus instructs them to find a quiet place, free from the masses, to rest.

These verses, and the ones that follow, are significant. They reveal the impact of the apostles’ journey and the value Jesus places on rest.

The apostles do as Jesus says, but find that the masses have followed them to their place of reprieve. When Jesus arrives and sees the crowds, he is moved by pity.

Mark reports, “…for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.”

Our reading concludes here, but if we were to continue on we would hear the disciples ask Jesus to send the masses away to eat. Instead of commanding the crowds off to the villages, Jesus directs his disciples to provide them with food.

At CMMB, we know that our mission is not something that can be achieved overnight, and it is not something that can be achieved by standing idle. Change demands action, and Jesus recognized that.

But with any long-term goal or mission, it’s important to take a moment to reflect and celebrate the milestones that have been achieved, while praying for those that have not.

Former child soldiers playing in a child-safe spacein Yambio, South Sudan in October 2018.

With this in mind, we recently took a moment to celebrate and reflect on 10 years of independence in South Sudan. The world’s newest country, South Sudan is fraught with hunger, economic turmoil, and large-scale displacement due to years of warring.

Since 2010, CMMB has implemented several programs and projects to provide people with adequate health care, support women through childbirth, and teach children who have only ever known war, what it is to live in peace.

Much has yet to change in South Sudan, and we have no intention of stopping our work. But recognizing the positive impact of our staff, volunteers, and programs inspires us to stay on the journey—no matter how long the road ahead.

We encourage you to read more about South Sudan’s independence, the communities we serve, and the programs we support on our blog. If you are interested, you can do so by clicking HERE.

In grace and peace,


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*Portions of today’s reflection were adapted from and inspired by the Loyola Press Sunday Connection.