Rest

 The Apostle John resting with Jesus at the Last Supper.

The Apostle John resting with Jesus at the Last Supper.

I love Sunday, but sometimes I feel a little guilty about resting. The Third Commandment asks us to rest on the Sabbath, and to keep it holy, but is this still relevant in our culture? 

Yes, of course, and perhaps more than ever, because so much is gained from rest -- even more now in our open 24/7, online, always open, technology-driven culture.

I don’t want Sunday to feel like the other days and I hope you feel that way too.

After Mass, I typically do peaceful things that I enjoy like reading, napping, praying, stretching, getting outdoors, and spending time with me family. 

I use author and speaker Matthew Kelly’s phrase ‘carefree timelessness’ in regard to Sunday activities. I want to enjoy the people and activities without too much focus on time and accomplishment.

So much good happens when we rest.

With our physical bodies, rest is a time for muscle repair and replenishment. Exercising our muscles causes little micro-tears in the muscle that allow it to grow and get stronger, but that can only occur when we rest.

Taking breaks from working, thinking, and doing, along with adequate sleep and stress management provide us with renewed energy and strength. This rest and activity cycle helps us to get stronger. 

Rest can also help us renew our spiritual lives. 

Caring for a family, working, volunteering and all the other wonderful activities that fill our week, while rewarding, can sometimes cause little ‘micro-tears’ in our spiritual lives. Rest can help provide a renewal of the heart and body and refreshes us spiritually and physically and gives us strength for the road ahead.

I depend on Sunday to be a reset where I can slow down, spend more time with the Lord, pray and be gentle to myself and those around me. When I am able to do this, I start the week with more calm and more Christ-centeredness and it helps me maintain healthy habits of prayer and action during the busier weekdays. 

Are you someone whose job requires you to work on Sunday? Thanks be to God for you as we need medical pros, police, fire, etc. to be there for us! Setting aside another day as your rest day is fine (I heard a priest share this advice.)

Rest can mean different things to you and to me. There is no clear definition of rest -- and that can make it challenging to live out. 

But Jesus is always inviting us to rest with him and He is waiting for us to jump into his arms and be renewed with his never-ending love.

Come to me all you who are burdened and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28