“Take care of your body as though you are to live for ever; and take care of your soul as though you are going to die tomorrow” St. Augustine

16th Sunday of the Year - B

Jer.23: 1-6; Psalm 22; Ephes. 2: 13-18; Mark. 6: 30-34

Read: In those days, the apostles re-joined Jesus and they related to him all that they had done and taught. And he told them: “You must come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while”. Because, truly, there were so many coming and going, that the apostles had no time even to eat. So, they went off in a boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. But people saw them going and many recognized them, and they walked hurried to the place on foot, people from many towns and they arrived before them. As he stepped ashore from the boat, he saw a large crowd, and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them many things.

Reflect: St. Augustine once said: “Take care of your body as though you are to live for ever; and take care of your soul as though you are going to die tomorrow”. We always need to take good care of ourselves as much as possible, even by seeking time for rest. Holidays and rest are not a waste of time, but a necessity. Our body needs rest, our mind requires to rest, our spirit also needs time to rest. I tell you that free time is beautiful, indeed precious. When resting, you can get to know better yourself, those around you and also God. Restful time should never be a time of laziness. As a man, Jesus used to get tired, and thus in need of rest, but Jesus was never lazy. He spent his restful periods communicating with God the Father and also in contact with others.

Think a bit on these examples from the Gospels: “Come away with me to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while” (Mark 6:31). “And at once he made his disciples get into the boat and to go on ahead to the other side near Bethsaida, while he himself sent the crowd away. After saying goodbye to them, he went off into the hills to pray” (Mark 6:45-46). “It was about the sixth hour, and Jesus, tired by the journey, sat down by the well” (John 4:6). Continue then with the long dialogue between Jesus and the Samaritan woman (see John 4:7-30).

Pray: During your time of rest, you can communicate more with others and with God: “The apostles re-joined Jesus and they related to him all that they had done and taught”.

Act:  Three suggestions so as to profit more from your free time; listen to three voices:-

  1. Try to listen to the call of nature, this is all that is beautiful around you.
  2. Try to listen to your conscience ….. the voice of God within you.
  3. Try to listen to the voices of others especially the poor and those less fortunate than yourself.

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