Homily for Saturday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II (1)

Homily for Saturday of the 4th Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II
Theme: Retire and reflect on your mission
By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas

St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliche
Homily for Saturday February 5 2022
Mk 6:30–34
The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.
There is a story about a priest who was on his way to take his day-off. A parishioner saw him and asked: “Father, where are you going?” The priest said, “I am going to take my day-off.” “But why are you having a day-off?” insisted the parishioner. “The devil does not take a day-off or vacation.” The priest replied: “Well, if I do not take my day-off and get some rest, I myself will become the devil.”
People nowadays find it difficult to have time to rest and relax. Everybody has to work hard in order to earn a living. That is why many people are stressed and grumpy, resulting in many kinds of illness. And for those who take vacation or some break, they come home more exhausted and stressed.
In the Gospel, Jesus sees how exhausted His apostles were after coming home from their mission. So, He tells them: “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” As has always been His own practice, He urges them to retire and reflect on the meaning of what they are doing.
We are reminded that our body needs sufficient amount of rest in order to ensure our physical well-being and recharge our energy and vigor. But more than just physical benefits, taking rest gives us the opportunity to free ourselves from worldly concerns and have some precious time to be with the Lord. Knowing well our daily hardships, Jesus invites us: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28). In other words, the real rest that will recharge us both body and soul is being with the Lord.
This is the spirit behind the Sabbath Law of the Jews. Work is forbidden on this day precisely to give them one full day to pray and be with God. As Christians, though, we have no Sabbath. What we have is Sunday, the first day of the week. It is the Day of the Lord. On this day we celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord. Every Sunday, then, is a Little Easter. Many people mistakenly think that it is a day of rest or family day. So they go outing, shopping, recreating, or simply spending time with family. But they forget that this day belongs to the Lord. We are encouraged to rest and, if possible, refrain from working. This is in order to take some time off from our daily tasks, and focus on being with the Lord, especially in prayer and in the celebration of the Eucharist together with the community of believers.
If we find ourselves too heavily burdened, anxious and worried, we need to stop and reflect. Perhaps our schedule is so filled up with activities and worldly concerns that we have no time to rest and recharge our body. But more importantly, perhaps we are not spending enough time with the Lord. Lest we forget, the Lord.
Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliche


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