Marcus Mescher writes:
This passage is illuminating because it shows that connection is the way forward. Whatever the disciples do while they rest and whatever they talk about—giving thanks for how they were able to help people or lamenting any obstacles they encountered on their journey—the disciples rejoice and commiserate together. They experience personal restoration precisely through the mutuality of their relationships.
Self-care isn’t just another item on our to-do list; it’s the habit of respect and responsibility that makes the inclusion and interdependence of solidarity possible. It’s no accident that this retreat from the crowd sets the table for the miraculous feeding of five thousand; making time to rest and reflect, to give and receive compassion, and take stock of reasons to be filled with gratitude increase our capacity to practice tenderness and generosity. Healing is a communal gift and task.