THURSDAY, FIRST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Heb 3: 7-14; Ps 95: 6-11; Mk 1: 40-45
THERE IS NO REST FOR THE WEARY
Ever witnessed a marathon? The contestants cannot afford a moment’s rest. They prepare for the event, with months of gruelling tasks to test their endurance. All that training cannot go to waste for some rest. They stay put despite the blistering sun, dehydration or sore feet, because the goal is clear and the trophy is awaiting them.
The first reading is written in a similar context. The recipients of this letter were the Christians who had converted from the Jewish religion. They were well aware of their Jewish roots and pronounced their belief in the same Yahweh, the father of Jesus Christ. However, within this Jewish Christian community, weariness due to the radical demands of Christian life and indifference to their religious calling was on the rise. Therefore, these Christians who were on the marathon towards the wreath that lies in knowing Christ (1 Cor 9:25) were seeking rest in lukewarmness. It is in this regard, the author plays the role of a cheerleader. Quoting Psalm 95, he recounts to the Jewish Christians what happened to their Hebrew ancestors who rebelled against God in their journey to the promised land after having fled from Egypt. Seeking rest in their journey without trusting the providence of God, they never received rest from the Lord but invoked his wrath.
Two thousand years later, the race continues. The temptation to grow weary is still strong. Attachments to sensual pleasures, material possessions and intellectual pride often tempt us for needless rest. But No! We cannot rest for we have a long way to go. Our reward lies there awaiting! We have to run the race and keep up the good fight (2 Tim 4:7). Do not worry about the ‘rest’. It will be provided by the Lord after which there will never be weariness but only bliss! Until then, let us motivate one another to stay strong, for blessed are those who endured! (Jas 5:11)
Response: O that today you would listen to his voice! Harden not your hearts.
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