SIXTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
(Green) Cycle B/Year I (July 18, 2021)
Jer 23:1-6/Eph 2:13-18/Mk 6:30-34
In the gospel, Jesus invited His Apostles to get some rest. This is after they arrived from a long journey for which He sent them two by two days before. Jesus knew that His apostles were tired and that they needed their long deserved rest. Hence, He invited them to come with Him and take some rest.
If we are to examine the Bible, we will discover how important rest is as it was given prominence in many parts of the Bible like the gospel for today and even at the creation account. We have to remember that after God created the whole world and heaven for 6 days, He took His rest. This rest did not mean that God became tired after days of creation because He is powerful and could never get tired. This 7th-day rest is meant for us human beings, teaching us that we cannot simply work and work. We also need to get some rest.
Nowadays, there are a lot of people who work like a dog, without having time for rest. In the United States of America, there are many Filipinos who do not only have a double job but even triple job. They work without resting just to be able to acquire enough money to send to their loved ones in the Philippines. Even here in our country, there are already some people who do not have enough time for rest as they only think of their job. This is not good for one’s health. These people are sacrificing their health and even their life just to get more money. And this is evil.
Jesus reminds in the gospel of the need to take a rest. Resting detaches us from what concerns our mind and heart daily and teaches that these things may not be as important as our health and our life. Usually, we are so occupied and preoccupied with our work that we think it is the most important in our lives and that we are ready to sacrifice a lot of things just to work, even our relationship with others and with God. This is greed. Resting refocuses us on what is essential in our lives. The relationship is more important than our work – relationship with our family, friends, relative, and neighbors. Most especially, our relationship with God is the most important thing in our life that we must not sacrifice.
Usually, what happens is that we preserve a lot of things and sacrifice God. We never pray. We never go to the Church especially on Sundays to attend the Holy Eucharist. We never think of God. We believe that we are supermen who can do all things without God. But we have to remember that everything depends on God even our lives. Jesus Christ even said: Without me, you can do nothing. We must always humble ourselves in front of God. We must prioritize God in our lives for we owe everything to Him.
There is a story that says: In the morning, Hemingway lies in the garden in a hammock. A neighbor goes to work and asks him: “Are you resting?” – No, I work. In the evening, the neighbor returns, and Hemingway digs the soil around the apple tree. Neighbor: – Do you work? – No, I’m resting (credit to the owner of the story). The moral of this story is this: We may have different ways of understanding work and rest, but what is important is that we do not only work and work, we also get some rest.