July 18, 2021
Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)
Readings for Today
“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” Mark 6:31a
This is an invitation we may need to hear far more than we realize. And it’s an invitation that many find hard to accept from Jesus. But take it as a direct invitation offered to you from our Lord. Hear Him say this to you: “You, my child, please do come away by yourself to a deserted place and rest for a while.”
There is something very healing and helpful that comes from silence and moments of solitude. There is something about silence and solitude that enables us to get refocused. So often in life we are overwhelmed by busyness. “Busyness” is often a way for the evil one to wear us down and get us off track. It keeps us from the gentle, clear and refreshing voice of God. So how is it that God is inviting you to come away by yourself and rest?
At the heart of this invitation is a longing in Jesus’ heart that we rest from those burdens which weigh us down unnecessarily. It’s true that there are many good things God calls us to do that can exhaust us. But this “holy exhaustion” is not a bad thing. In fact, being “exhausted” by the will of God actually deepens our faith and fills us with joy. And that joy lightens our burden.
The main reason for our need to “come away” and “rest” is that there are many things in life that are not part of God’s will. These are burdens we impose upon ourselves unnecessarily. These burdens, more than anything else, are what we need to rest from.
Coming away, alone, with Jesus, is a way of getting refocused and clearing out the clutter of life. It’s a way of escaping from our impulses and habits that draw us away from the joyful will of God. So think about this invitation. Think about it practically. Can you find at least ten minutes today to go find silence so as to rest in the arms of Jesus?
Reflect, today, upon how ready and willing you are to accept the invitation from Jesus to come and rest with and in Him. Commit yourself to doing just that. Make the choice, today, to find time to be alone. From that time of solitude, seek the still, small and silent voice of God. Let the quiet and the peace of God’s presence bring clarity and focus to your busy life.
Lord, help me to hear You call me to a time of rest and peace. Help me to seek You and to accept Your gentle invitation. Jesus, I trust in You.
Scripture Meditations for Ordinary Time
Saint of the Day – Saint Camillus de Lellis, Priest—USA Optional Memorial (Celebrated July 14 outside the United States)
Not celebrated as a liturgical memorial this year since it falls on Sunday
Featured image above: Jesus Teaches the People by the Sea By James Tissot, via Wikimedia Commons