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Love Knows Rest

July 15, 2020
July 16, 2020
PITIK-BULAG: Love Knows Rest
When someone is tired, the sweetest word to hear is the invitation to rest. Rest brings relief to our tired body and spirit. Resting with Him allows us to unload for a while the loads and burdens we are carrying on our shoulders. It allows us to heal ourselves and replenish our depleted energy. It allows us to see things from a different perspective and see meaning in life. It allows us to see that we are not alone, we are not supposed to be alone, and we shall never be alone. And most of all, resting is basically leaving all our cares in God who created everything, then rested on the seventh day, to relish his creation and say, “It was very good.”
When someone decides to love, he or she becomes restless. Loves calls us to leave our comfort zones, including our rest. The restlessness of knowing that many are suffering without end makes us restless. In the process of self-emptying to give life to others, we forgot to love ourselves … to imitate God, who stops from day one to day of six of creation … to look at the fruits of his labor … tap his own shoulder and say, “It was good.” In our desire to rush everything, or to find an immediate solution … we forget that God is simply inviting us to give our best … to contribute something …. to share our toil … but not to carry everything in our shoulders.
As a result, it becomes difficult to rest because suffering never stops. The mission entrusted to us by the Lord becomes a burden and not a vocation. It becomes a curse and not a blessing. It becomes destructive and not life-giving. It becomes a punishment and not a daily cross to carry with joy. The joy of serving disappeared and we begin to question the God-given vocation to be men and women for others.
The fault lies in us why we have lost the joy of service. We simply failed to recognize the grace of resting. Some of us feel that resting is selfish. We failed to recognize that resting heals our wounded spirit. It rekindles the fire of service. And allows us to love others genuinely – for we cannot give what we have not experienced and received.
In our gospel today, the Lord is giving us a new perspective in resting. To rest is not simply sleeping the whole day or having a grand vacation with your loved ones, or a day off, or doing nothing for a week. Yes, the body requires full stop from work to replenish our depleted energy and boost our immune system. That’s the easiest part of resting. But sad to say, our spirit is the one not resting. For we remain restless in our rest, because of anxiety and fear, because of the lingering pandemic, because of our inability to control things in our lives. In the process, we take everything in our hands and end up more burdened and exhausted every day, even though our physical body has rested.
Do I really know how to rest? The gospel today gives us three things to consider in your prayer.
1. THE INVITATION TO REST IN THE LORD. Jesus is inviting us to rest in His presence. To rest is not to be alone. To rest is to know that God is with us. Resting in prayer is important to hear Jesus, the caller. To realize that saving the world is His mission. Not mine. He is the in-charge, not me. The bigger burden is in his shoulder. Not mine. “Come to me, all of who labor and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Mathew 11:28).
2. A GENTLE REMINDER: THIS IS HIS YOKE, NOT OURS. There is a sense of freedom to know that the burden of this world is not really ours. It’s God. We are disciples, not masters. We are servants, not messiahs. We simply partake in God’s salvific action to save humanity. Such realization allows us to simply give our best, and let God do the rest.
The disciples of love, like anyone of us, will always give our best. Even to the point of not resting, for the sake of Kingdom. The Lord admires our passion, but he wants us to enjoy the graces of the moment. He encourages us to raise our foot towards the victory of light against darkness. But wants us to be humble also, and accept that we are mere servants.
I remember the prayer attributed to Bishop Romero and written by Bishop Ken Untener, “We plant the seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.”
Resting with the Lord allows us to regain our identity. Not merely our strength. It gives us a sense of direction, not mere passivity. It gives us hope that something is happening, not merely hopelessness in the midst of despair. It gives us consolation that we are not alone. God is in control. “That his yoke is easy and his burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30).
A heavy burden embraced and carried with great love, becomes bearable, meaningful, and life-giving. And when I realized that God is at my side, the burden becomes light. I become calm, trustful and hopeful in self-surrender … my heartbeat slows down … as I slowly rest peacefully in God’s love… I am consoled … for I discovered something, I AM HOME.
– Pitik-Bulag
July 16, 2020 – Thursday
Gospel Reading: Matthew 11: 28-30

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