Need for R&R

Word Alive–Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD July 18, 2021/16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Miss Melissa Anderson is an ambitious, go-getting woman whose main preoccupation is academic achievement. She has two undergraduate degrees, two MA degrees and a Ph.D. As she pursues her second Ph.D., the stress and strain of concentrated study begins to show.

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She has lost her sense of humor. She has become more and more irritable. The frown on her face never seems to vanish.

Finally, a wise old professor called her into his office. “Melissa,” he said, “I see you’re not at all relaxed, weighed down by MAs and PhDs. It’s plain and simple. You’re killing yourself by degrees!”

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The advice of that wise professor sounds like the concern of Jesus over his apostles in the gospel of this 16th Sunday which goes, “The apostles had returned and reported to Jesus all that they had done and taught.”

They had been so busy, the evangelist St. Mark writes, that they had no time even to eat (Mk 6,31). They were, as that professor told Melissa, “killing themselves by degrees.”

Jesus recognized the need to slow down, to back off for a while. He thus invited his disciples to “a lonely, out-of-the-way place by themselves, and rest awhile” (Mk 6,30).

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During the time of Christ, there was obviously no communications media like the TV, Internet, radio, yet the large crowd of people became the “noise and distraction” detrimental to the much-needed peace and quiet.

No one had a more important and urgent mission than did Jesus, and yet he knew that important things cannot be accomplished without a physical break and peace of mind. This shows the human side of the Lord.

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In big cities, we live in a fast-paced society; we suffer from burnout, information overload, not to mention junk food overload. Hence, we need to rest and relax (R&R) in order, to “recharge our battery” or renew our strength. As the proverb puts it, “We make one step backward, but TWO steps forward.”

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SPIRITUAL RETREAT. As much as we need physical rest, so we also need spiritual retreat. A successful businessman once asked the then Bishop Augustine for advice since he was making good in business but felt that something was missing deep down.

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Augustine’s reply was: “You’re running fast, but you’re off-tracked!” Augustine was saying, “You’re working very hard and are successful but you’re overlooking one important human need–your spiritual need. Jesus said, “What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but suffer the loss of his own soul.” St. Augustine said after all his worldly wanderings, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in you, Lord.”

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ACTION: Take time out to withdraw to a place to lay your worries and problems before the Lord and let the Spirit heal you. The place of solitude could be any place where you can have silence and reflect. It could be in the church or adoration chapel, in your private room, in a bus while travelling alone or while you’re in the hospital queueing for a check-up or when confined.

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THOUGHTS TO PONDER. A patient aged 80 was about to be discharged. Looking at his hospital bill, he remarked, “Your oxygen costs very high! But that’s all right, I have the money to pay. What I’m afraid of is: How will I pay God for all the oxygen I’ve used for 80 years?!”

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Covid 19 pandemic has not only snuffed out millions of lives but also destroyed our human values. Hugs and kisses have become deadly weapons, and NOT visiting parents and friends becomes an act of love.

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On a Church’s Billboard: “7 days without God makes one weak.”

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FAMILY TV MASS–is aired on TV5 One Sport Channel 59, Free TV Ch. 41 at 6-7 a.m. every Sunday and anytime at “MCFI SVD Media” Account on YouTube and Facebook Page. Priest presider: FR. BEL SAN LUIS, SVD.

“The FAMILY that prays together stays together.”

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