The Pope recently wrote a letter reminding people that the Sabbath is an important commandment. I'm glad that he did so.
It strikes me and has for some years that the commandment to rest is the one that most people break and suffer the least guilt for.
But take a look around. Stress is at an all time high. People struggle with the meaning of life issues in a way that past generations never did. When people can no longer work they do not know what to do with themselves. Why?
First rest takes practice. Most of us even on vacation stay busy. We have forgotten how to be quiet and restful.
Secondly rest requires belief in something beyond myself. If I believe that God is ultimately over creation, than my projects can wait. If they are important they will get done, but not today.
It is the weekend, how busy are you? Consider the lillies for a few minutes and see in them an invitation to worship God and rest for a day.
Over the next one hour the host talked with a man who claimed that God had become incarnate in one of the lost tribes of Israel in 1918 in an eastern African nation. The Eternal one had just recently celebrated his 80th birthday.
God,(I confess to having forgotten his new earthly name, it was rather late in the evening) could be identified predominately because he was wearing a red robe, just as the Scriptures had prophesied. God also had a white robe in the closet but would only take that out on the day of Judgment which was coming up in the next 18 months.
"Could I see God?" The host seemed sincere in his question.
"Certainly," came the answer and I will leave it at that.
"The days will come when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but will not see it," Jesus told his disciples and all of us have longed for that coming at one moment or another in our lives. But Jesus also warned us through his disciples to be careful in our desire.
"There will be those who will say to you, 'Look, there he is,'[or] 'Look, here he is.' Do not go off, do not run in pursuit."
Isaiah the prophet said, "Seek the Lord while he may be found, call to him while he is near."
Do that today and you might find that God is living nearby you.
What is it that we feel we need? What is it, that if given the opportunity to have our wish fulfilled, we would ask for?
Money? Health? Salvation? The death of someone?
The woman who asked the question the daughter of Herodias was told to ask for the head of John the Baptist, which she did. And she received her wish.
Imagine the effect that John the Baptist must have had on the conscience of Herodias to incite her to ask for his death. What does God ask of me?
If you are in sin, I wish that you receive the gift of repentance. If you are in anger, I wish you the gift of peace.
Given the opportunity today, what will you ask for?
Why do we judge? We know that God is the ultimate judge and Jesus as the son of God commands us not to. St. Paul claimed that he did not even judge himself.
What are we doing when we pass judgment? Are we saying that the way so and so acts is unacceptable to me? Do we feel that God has made a great mistake with the creatures he has created?
There is a passage in the Old Testament where David is being cursed by a man as he leaves the city of Jerusalem. One of David's bodyguards asks David if he should go over and lop the man's head off for doing such a horrible thing. David's answer is surprising, he says leave him alone, perhaps God is telling him to curse me.
Spend today questioning the experiences of today rather than judging them, if for no other reason that Jesus commands not to judge. Ask yourself what you might learn from the people that walk into your life today rather than condemning them.
Almost anything that we worry about has no basis in reality. They usually pertain to fears we have of the future, or relate to possible consequences from our past, but the only place any of us finds ourselves is in the present.
The present is the key to overcoming worry!
What can I do right now?
If my fear is related to a relationship, how can I repair or make that relationship better right now?
If my fear is concerns financial matters, how can I either make more money or learn to live on less?
If my fear is over my health, what steps can I take to care for myself better right now?
Faith in something bigger than ourselves ultimately is necessary to truly live in the present. Trust that God will make good come out of whatever the present offers.
God bless you!