Grace to you!
Are you stressed out? Fatigue? You work two or three jobs to make ends meet. You have no time to rest. You know it isn't good for your health. But you believe you have to do what you have to do to pay your bills.
I empathize with you. I also pray for you, for divine support to find better opportunities. It's important not to forget this truth, though. Rest is part of God's design for your health and spiritual wellbeing.
The notion of the Sabbath is crucial. God was thinking about your rest when he specified the Sabbath regulation. Hence, the Lord instituted it right from "the beginnings" as described in the first book of the Bible, Genesis, also known as the book of creation. Sabbath is a Hebrew word which means, "rest."
Genesis 2:1-3 states that God rested (Sabbath) from all he had created. So, he blessed that day. I wouldn't like to bore you with the historical background leading to this text plus the liturgical significance of the Sabbath. It isn't my objective here.
Nevertheless, I would want to point out one of the rationales behind the day of rest. When God does something, we, the people of faith, see it as a lead, an example the Lord wants us to follow. We, therefore, try to model our lives and plans following God's lead. Our relationship with God on earth is like a mentoring father to his child. God is our mentoring father. We follow his lead, which is always in our best interest. It's spiritually healthy too.
So, the rationale behind the Sabbath, rest, is for us to have at least a full day not to work. It is also a time for us to connect with Our creator more profoundly. During that time, we rest in God. Such a rest is very healthy for our mental, emotional, psychological, biological, social, and spiritual wellbeing. Sabbath makes us centered. God, who created us, knows we need that rest. We need him to refresh us. God doesn't benefit from our rest. We do. The Lord Jesus says: “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath” (Mk 2:27).
Do you suppose that lack of rest is in our best interest? Do people who work 24/7 look refreshed? Are they healthier? From experience, we know they tend to be stressed out a lot. When stressed out, our dispositions and mannerism aren't at their best. Don't we become unnecessarily short and petulant?
Also, medical and health sciences show us that a lack of sufficient rest affects health, negatively.
The Sabbath is meant for us, for our wellbeing. It is for our spiritual and biological nourishment. The God who set it for us knows best. Therefore, do please set a day when you wouldn't do any career-based or job activity. God has set a perfect day for it. The Jews retain Saturday as the Sabbath. We Christians follow the example of the Lord Jesus Christ and keep it on the day the Lord resurrected. It is a day we Christians call "The Day of the Lord" (Sunday). Use that day to connect with God. Go to the Eucharistic celebration. Fellowship and relax with your loved ones as well. Have a kind of home-fellowship. Remember, the saying "a healthy mind in a healthy body."
Praying we find rest in God.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Tuesday, Week 2 in Ordinary Time: 1 Sm 16:1-13; Mk 2:23-38]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.