I always embrace the weekend break. It is a time to fulfill God’s command to make holy the Lord’s Day. A welcome respite from the previous week’s challenges, it is a good opportune time to prepare for the coming work, driving through traffic, and the demands that are associated with the coming week. It is indeed the time to refresh, rejuvenate and recharge.
In today’s Gospel (Mk. 6: 30-34) proclamation, after receiving the reports of His hard-working Apostles, Jesus said to them,
“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”
The Master recognized the needs of the Apostles, and didn’t want them to get burned out in a time when those words aren’t even used yet. He perfectly knew how they felt after toiling hard in preaching the Good News. Before these verses on the return of the Twelve, many events were mentioned in this chapter of St. Mark’s Gospel: The rejection at Nazareth, the mission of the Twelve, Herod’s opinion of Jesus, and the death of John the Baptist, thus, the Lord understood that the Apostles need to take a rest for a while. It needn’t be a long rest but just enough for them to get the tiredness away.
Likewise, it is offered for us today and every weekend thereafter. This invitation of communing with the Lord in a deserted, quiet place, is indeed a welcome change in a world characterized by deadlines, a hectic pace and busyness. Christ is telling us that it is important to recharge in order to sustain our health and our work. You shouldn’t wait for your body to force you to rest in a hospital bed. Being human, you have physical limitations and should learn to trust God to protect the work while you’re away. In last Thursday’s Gospel, Jesus said,
“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.” Mt. 11:28
For as long as you accept this invitation to rest with and in Him, the Lord will give the needed rest, as in today’s verses in Psalm 23:
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures He gives me repose; beside restful waters He leads me; He refreshes my soul.” Ps. 23: 1-3
Today, let us reflect on the Lord’s invitation to come and rest in Him. Create the time to spend time with Jesus. Hear and feel God in the silence and solitude. You will find it worthwhile to do over and over again. “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.” Ps.23:1