HIS WORDâ€¦ COME AWAY BY YOURSELVES TO A DESERTED PLACE AND REST A WHILE.
my wordsâ€¦ The First Reading, the Responsorial Psalm, and the Gospel of today speak about the â€œshepherdingâ€ role of God and Jesus. In the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah, the prophet warned the people of his time about â€œshepherdsâ€ who misled and scattered Godâ€™s flock. The responsorial psalm showed God as the ever-providing Shepherd who brings his sheep to verdant pastures and guides his sheep on the right path of life. The gospel exhibited the empathy of Jesus the Good Shepherd to the crowd who were â€œlike sheep without a shepherdâ€ (Mk 6: 34). And so, He continued teaching, blessing, and healing them that they may have life in Him.
Brothers and Sisters, Jesus the Good Shepherd had these beautiful words for His Apostles: â€œCome away by yourselves to a deserted place and REST a whileâ€ (Mk 6:31). Have you noticed that the whole phrase consisted also of 12 words for His 12 Apostles? Maybe a coincidence! But what is the theology of REST. Why did Jesus ordered them to REST a while? If we go back to the creation account in the Book of Genesis, it is very clear that God after 6 days of working, He rested on the 7th Day. He designed a pattern for us. And so also with the 12 Apostles, they had been working all day long the whole week long, ministering to the people, curing all types of human maladies plus expelling demons, and now they are reporting everything they had done to Jesus (Mk 6:30). And because of excitement, the 12 expected for another round ministry assignments for them to work and do; but Jesus said to them, â€œCome away by yourselves to a deserted place and REST a whileâ€ as quoted above.
Brothers and Sisters, we too work for our families, for our future, for the glory of God six days a week. And God has divinely designed for us that after working for six days in one week, we should rest on the 7th Day, the SUNDAY of the Lord. And what should we do while resting on a Sunday? WORSHIP and praise GOD. To go to Church on a Sunday, we call it â€œthe Sunday obligation.â€ Yes, God rested on the 7th day, and on His rest He brought along with Him the first man and woman, and NOT the wild animals, so that they may worship and praise Him, the Almighty God. Therefore, it is safe to say that if you wonâ€™t go to Mass on Sundays, HAYOP KA! Ayaw mo maging TAO! You can be counted among the wild animals that God did not bring into His REST. God has created us â€œin His image and likenessâ€ (Gen 1:26) that we may worship Him. What a great gift and privilege!
To sustain us in our daily works and missions, the Church has designed some specialized forms of RESTING in the LORD; the spiritual recollections and holy retreats. A spiritual recollection may happen in one day; while a holy retreat should happen in a minimum of three days to a maximum of 30 days (ex. The Ignatian Way retreat format). It is because once we are spiritually renewed, we become ready to do another round of works gracefully as the Apostles did. So let us rest in the Lord on Sundays that we may glorify Him, and our works, jobs, professions, and vocations will be full of blessings and grace!
REST GRACEFULLYâ€¦ AND WE BECOME APOSTLES OF JESUS AND CHILDREN OF GODâ€¦ (ByÂ Fr. Julius C. Lupot)