And he said to them, ‘Come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while’; for there were so many coming and going that there was no time for them even to eat. So they went off in the boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves.Mark 6:31-32
Life isn’t just about doing, working. and producing. We can’t reduce our existence to day-to-day running around. We live in a culture that has made us believe that our importance is based on what we do and that the value of life is based on the time and effort we dedicate to work. Jesus teaches us that the value of life is independent of our work and effort. We must take care of our own lives, our physical health and our interior serenity. We musn’t allow the hustle and bustle of everyday life to take away our peace, put our health at risk, and rob us of the joy of living and enjoying the fellowship of those we love.
Rest isn’t just a “break” to replenish our energy expenditure. An authentic rest is one that helps us to find the best of ourselves and allows us to regenerate our whole being. We rest when our mind, body, and heart recover vitality and serenity. We rest when we relativize problems and worries, placing them in the context of life’s broader horizon. We rest when we know how to have fun in a healthy way and enjoy the moments spent with family and friends.
Above all, we rest when we seek a “lonely place” (Mk. 6:31) to be silent; to enter into ourselves; to listen to our conscience and perceive, beyond our fears and tensions, the presence of God who loves and cares for us. Prayer is true rest for the believer, through which we feel loved by the Lord, recovering strength and inner peace. We must learn to rest in the Lord, leaving our worries in his hands. As a Psalm says: “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you” (Ps 55:23; cf. 1 Pet 5:7). Resting in the Lord brings us out of our isolation and makes us feel loved, strengthened, and secure in his hands.
Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of Managua
Homily, 18 July 2021
The Gospel reading in the New Jerusalem Bible translation is courtesy of Bíblia Católica Online. This translation is the preferred English translation of Bishop Báez. You can read more at www.bibliacatolica.com.br.