Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus said to the disciples, “You must come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while.” Mark 6:31
This week, as we break up from school and as we begin our summer holidays these words from Jesus in the Gospel reading above are timely. For many of us the past school year has been pressured with the frenetic hustle and bustle of daily life. The juggling of work, family and other concerns can take its toll on us and we seek rest and refreshment for our bodies and souls. In order to go forward into whatever the future brings, the need to have time to pause and renew ourselves must become a priority.
The gift of the summer holidays can be a source of great grace and help to us. We can use this time to see friends and family, to enjoy nature and spend time reflecting upon our lives. To consider not only where we have been, what we have achieved over the past year but also where we are going. This is something to reflect on not only in our working lives but our family life and spiritual life as well. Our holiday and rest times can also help us make the most of each day and enjoy all the blessings and benefits which the Lord in His generosity and love lavishes upon us.
So, how will you decide to spend the holiday time which now stretches out before us? There are some ways we can renew ourselves spiritually as well as physically. We may choose to take up a new hobby or a sport. We may consider developing our skills and talents by enrolling in a course at college or university or volunteering with a charitable organisation. We may wish to devote more time each day to prayer and reading scripture, attending daily Mass, seeking the Lord in the silence of Eucharistic Adoration or going on a pilgrimage or retreat.
Whatever we choose to do, let us commit all our plans to the Lord and entrust them to Him. May He guide and keep us for He ‘watches over our comings and goings from this time forward and for ever more.’ Cf. Psalm 121.
You have provided us with this great opportunity to rest and take time out.
Thank you for the gift of the summer holidays, which we will soon be enjoying.
Help us, Holy Spirit, to use this time wisely and well, and for Your Glory.
We entrust this time to You,
so it may not only benefit us but may be for the good of all those whom you place alongside us.
We ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ, Your Son. Amen.