Engaging the Gospel – Mark 6:30-34

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B): Gospel – Mark 6:30-34

Jesus’ invitation to the apostles, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while,” underscores the proper value of rest:

God’s action is the model for human action. If God rested and was refreshed on the seventh day [of creation], man too ought to rest and should let others, especially the poor, be refreshed. The sabbath brings everyday work to a halt and provides a respite. It is a day of protest against the servitude of work and the worship of money.

— Catechism paragraph 2172.

“Work is for man, not man for work” (2428).

In the early Church, the Jewish sabbath precepts of worshiping God and refraining from work were transferred to Sunday, the Lord’s Day (2175-76, 2184-85).

St John Paul II set out to reclaim this authentic understanding of Sunday rest in Dies Domini:

‘The Lord’s Day’ is ‘the lord of days.’…

I would strongly urge everyone to rediscover Sunday: Do not be afraid to give your time to Christ! Yes, let us open our time to Christ, that he may cast light upon it and give it direction.

He is the One who knows the secret of time and the secret of eternity, and he gives us ‘his day’ as an ever new gift of his love. The rediscovery of this day is a grace which we must implore, not only so that we may live the demands of faith to the full, but also so that we may respond concretely to the deepest human yearnings.

Time given to Christ is never time lost, but is rather time gained.

Question for reflection: How well do I set aside time to rest in the Lord?

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