Sunday Sipping: Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Click here for the readings!

In today's Gospel, having returned from their work of preaching, casting out demons, and healing the sick, the apostles gather with Jesus to recount what they had done and seen. Jesus then says to them, "Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while."

This call of Christ sticks out to me particularly because it's an invitation from Jesus that all too often I reject. There is a temptation in ministry to work and work and work. The very idea of rest takes a backseat because the work is worthwhile and pressing. However (and many of you who work in ministry can attest to this), whenever we continually ignore that invitation, that's when it starts to turn into a command and God sometimes has a funny way of getting us to rest. Well, it turns out to be funny after the fact!

God's invitations and commands are for our good, and his invitation/command to rest is no exception. The quality of our ministerial work diminishes the more we drive ourselves onward without making use of time for rest and reflection. What's worse is that we can be tempted to see ourselves as so important to our ministries that if we stopped, then the whole operation would stop. When tempted in this way, we must remember that God will provide, in our activity and our rest, whether we are working or taking a break. We are never so important that we can do our work without God's guidance.

Stay humble brothers and sisters and get your rest!

Christ is Living Water. People are thirsty. Be the straw.