Saturday, October 13, 2018


OT XXVIII [B] (Oct 14) Wis 7:7-11; Heb 4:12-13; Mk 10:17-30 (L-18)

With a coconut, some roasted peanuts or rice and a string, tribal people living in the border of forests in Africa, Sri Lanka and India have been trapping monkeys for centuries.  At one end of the coconut, they open a hole that is big enough to allow a monkey’s hand to push inside. However, the hole is too small for a monkey to remove his hand when he makes a fist.  On the other end of the coconut, a string is firmly attached and tied to a tree trunk.  The coconut trap, with roasted peanuts or roasted rice inside, is placed along a monkey’s trail, and the trapper hides behind bushes with a net.  The monkey smells the peanuts and is attracted to them.   He puts his hand through the hole and grabs a handful of peanuts, after which it is impossible for him to remove his hand since he is unwilling to let go of the peanuts.  Suddenly the trapper casts the net over the monkey and traps it.  We too are attracted by different “peanuts” that can be detrimental to our spiritual and physical pursuits.  Today’s Gospel presents a rich young man who wants eternal life but will not relinquish “the peanuts” of riches.
Today’s readings remind us that we do not possess anything in our life that we refuse to surrender to the Lord.  But, in reality our “possessions” often possess us, and we become their prisoners. What we really do is give our “things” top priority in our lives. Thus, we violate the First Great Commandment, which demands that we give absolute and unconditional priority to God.

The first reading advises us to use the God-given virtue of prudence and to seek true wisdom rather than to seek vanishing realities like riches or political and social influence.  Solomon chose Wisdom before everything else.  But when he accepted Wisdom, he received everything else along with her. Since Jesus is Wisdom Incarnate, when we put following Jesus ahead of everything else, we receive everything else along with Jesus.
This rich young man who came to Jesus in search of eternal life really wanted to be accepted by Jesus as a disciple. However, Jesus did not want this man as a disciple on his own terms, but rather on Jesus’ terms.  The young man claimed that, from his youth, he had observed all the commandments Jesus mentioned, including the fourth commandment.  His tragedy was that he loved “things” more than people.  He was trapped by the idea that he could keep his possessions and still obtain God’s mercy.  He failed to realize the fact that his riches had built a wall between himself and God.  In other words, his possessions “possessed” him.  Even though the rich man had never killed, stolen, or committed adultery, he was breaking both the commandment forbidding idolatry and the one commanding love of neighbor.  He worshiped his wealth more than God. Jesus asks him to break his selfish attachment to his wealth by sharing it.  He makes the same challenge to each of us today.  Our following of Jesus has to be totally and absolutely unconditional. 

An old mountaineer was on his deathbed. He called his wife to him. “Elviry,” he said, “go to the fireplace and take out that loose stone under the mantle.” She did as instructed, and behind that loose stone she found a shoe box crammed full of cash. “That’s all the money I’ve saved through the years,” said the mountaineer. “When I go, I’m goin’ to take it with me. I want you to take that box up to the attic and set it by the window. I’ll get it as I go by on my way to heaven.” His wife followed his instructions. That night, the old mountaineer died. Several days after the funeral, his wife remembered the shoe box. She climbed up to the attic. There it was, still full of money, sitting by the window. “Oh,” she thought, “I knew it. I knew I should have put it in the basement instead of the attic.”
As someone has said, “We can’t take it with us, but we can send it on ahead.”

We all have something in our lives that serves as a major obstacle to happiness and peace.  We must recognize this obstacle and address it head-on.  It may not be riches — it may be anger, holding grudges, alcohol, drugs, lust, apathy, lies, unfaithfulness, theft, or fraud.  Let us invite God into our lives and into our efforts to face and remove that one obstacle to holiness.  We have a decision to make: whether to go away sad like the rich young man, or to follow Jesus and be happy. 




Saturday, October 6, 2018


Oct 7: THE FEAST OF OUR LADY OF THE ROSARY

October is the month of Rosary. October 7th is the feast of our Lady of the Rosary. So we say solemn rosary before the masses during this month.  The word Rosary means “crown of roses” or “garland of roses” and each prayer in the Rosary is considered a flower presented to Mary. The prayers we repeat are Biblical and, hence, “inspired,” and the mysteries we meditate upon are taken from the lives of Jesus and Mary.  As we are saying the Rosary, we are, in fact, in contact with two of the most basic prayers in our Christian tradition: the Lord’s Prayer (the Our Father), and the Angelic Salutation (the Hail Mary).  The first is fully rooted in the Scriptures, taught by Jesus Himself. The second is largely rooted in the Scriptures, its first half echoing the words of the Archangel Gabriel and of Elizabeth as each addressed Mary.  The third prayer — the “Glory be to the Father” — ancient in its wording — surely reflects the unceasing prayer of adoration and praise found in the Book of Revelation.

The first major Rosary miracle, and one of the most impressive, is the one that occurred at the Battle of Lepanto. This historic battle took place on 7 October 1571 when a fleet of the Holy League, a coalition of southern European Catholic maritime states, decisively defeated the main fleet of the Ottoman Empire in five hours of fighting at Lepanto, on the northern edge of the Gulf of Corinth, off western Greece. The defeat was attributed to the effect rosaries recited by the soldiers and their respective countrymen for the sole purpose of preventing the Muslim army invading Europe and destroying Christianity as they did in the Byzantine Empire. The Turks had nearly three times more troops. The winds were against the Christians and the conditions were poor. But after the rosary recitals by the soldiers ended, the winds aided the Christians who gained a colossal victory against the Turks. This was one of the greatest naval upsets in history from which the Turks never fully recovered and their threat in the Mediterranean Sea ended. Following this victory, Pope Pius V established the Feast of Our Lady of Victories on October 7th. The name was later changed to its present form – the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. The purpose was to thank God for the victory of Christians over the Turks at Lepanto—a victory attributed to the praying of the rosary. Pope Clement XI extended the feast to the universal Church in 1716 and it is celebrated on the 7th of October, observing October as the month of the rosary.

During the recitation of the Rosary, we meditate on the saving mysteries of our Lord’s life and the faithful witness of our Blessed Mother. Journeying through the Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful and Glorious mysteries of the Rosary, we bring to mind our Lord’s Incarnation, His public ministry, His passion and death, and His Resurrection from the dead. Hence, by praying the Rosary, we come to live out the Paschal Mystery in our lives, thereby becoming authentic disciples of Jesus, people who really follow in his footsteps, dying with him so as to rise with him. We also ask for the prayers of our Blessed Mother, the exemplar of faith, who leads all believers to her Son. Hence, we as modern-day Catholic Christians need to pray the Rosary and live the Rosary.

In the ninth century, the Christian monks who recited the 150 psalms instructed the illiterate common people to recite the “Our Father” 150 times using beads. These strings of beads became known as Paternosters, the Latin for “Our Father.” It was in the eleventh century that the Europeans added “Hail Mary” to “Our Father.” According to legend, in 1214, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to St. Dominic Guzman and instructed him to pray with the bead-string in a new form as an effective antidote against the Albigensian heresy.  At least a dozen Popes have mentioned St. Dominic’s connection with the Rosary in various Papal pronouncements, sanctioning his role as at least a “pious belief.” Historians agree that St. Dominic preached its use to convert sinners and those who had strayed from the Faith. The Rosary devotion had attained its present form and gotten its name the Rosarium (“rose garden”), by AD 1500. An additional boost to the Rosary devotion was given in 1917, on the thirteenth of May, when our Blessed Mother, in her sixth apparition to the three children at Fatima, demanded, “Say the Rosary every day…  Pray, pray a lot and offer sacrifices for sinners…  I’m Our Lady of the Rosary.” She advised them to say the Rosary rightly, daily and devoutly for a holier life and world peace.  The “Fatima prayer” “O, my Jesus” was added in the twentieth century. Pope John Paul II enriched the Rosary by adding the “Luminous Mysteries” in 2002. 

Bishop Fulton J.  Sheen called the Rosary the perfect prayer because in addition to engaging the mind and the spirit, our fingers touch the beads and we are engaged in a physical way also. During this month of rosary, also every day of the year, let’s be faithful in saying the Rosary, because its power is unimaginable. Remember to come 30 minutes earlier for the weekend masses this month and become part of our parish rosary recitation a community one and gain spiritual graces from God through Mary.


Saturday, August 25, 2018


OT XXI Jos 24:1-2a, 15-17, 18b; Eph 5:21-32; Jn 6: 60-69 

 A group of Christians gathered for a secret prayer meeting in Russia, at the height of the persecution of all Christian churches. Suddenly the door was broken by the boot of a soldier. He entered the room and faced the people with a gun in his hand. They all feared the worst. He spoke. “If there’s anyone who doesn’t really believe in Jesus, then, get out now while you have a chance.” There was a rush to the door. A small group remained – those who had committed themselves to Jesus, and who were never prepared to run from him. The soldier closed the door after the others, and once again, he stood in front of those who remained, gun poised. Finally, a smile appeared on his face, as he turned to leave the room, and he whispered “Actually, I believe in Jesus, too, and you’re much better off without those others!”
At least once in a while thoughts cross our minds, especially these days, that if all the fake Church leaders and believers left the church, it would have grown much stronger and faster. Like weeds among the wheat they hamper the growth and fruit bearing of the Church.

Today we, too, are challenged to decide whom we will serve. In the first reading Joshua challenges the Israelites to decide whom they will serve, the gods of their fathers, the gods of the Amorites in whose country they were then dwelling or the God of Israelites Who had done so much for them. As Joshua spoke to his followers, Jesus speaks to the twelve apostles and gives them the option of leaving him or staying with him.

“This teaching is difficult.  Who can accept it?” It was Jesus’ disciples complaint.  They were offended by Jesus’ language — his imagery — the metaphors he used in his Eucharistic discourse. It was Jesus’ dramatic way of saying that we must accept him totally, without any conditions or reservations. His thoughts and attitudes, his values, his life-view must become totally ours.

G.K. Chesterton, a Faithful British Catholic said: “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” These days we hear many youngsters leaving the Catholic Church for mega Churches. Why? Is it because the Catholic Church is not appealing to them? Yes and no. Yes, because they find no novelty in the liturgy. They find the same prayers every day and more rigid discipline which is not the same with other Churches. Once you begin the Catholic Mass the prayers go by rote, as if you turned on a tape recorder. Even if my mind is miles away I can respond to the prayers. No personal effort is needed to respond to the prayers, if you have been a Catholic for long time. But, more than that why they leave the Catholic Church is because, it is very hard to live as a true Catholic. As Chesterton said: It has been found difficult and left untried. As the disciples of Jesus’ time said: It is a hard teaching. Who can follow it.

The Gospel is offensive and scandalous because God’s ways are not our ways.  It is offensive because it is costly.  When Christ calls us to eat his Flesh and to drink his Blood, he is inviting us to participate in his death.  The Christians who first heard this Gospel experienced persecution.  They knew martyred Christians, and they knew Christians who had avoided martyrdom by compromising their Faith. The Gospel with no offense would be like a surgeon with no scalpel — having no power to heal.  Christ and his cross, truly revealed, will always be an offense, except to the redeemed. The total assimilation of Jesus’ spirit and outlook into our lives is very challenging. And it was a challenge that some of Jesus’ disciples were not prepared to face. The reason Jesus says: “There are among you some who do not believe, do not trust me.” Faith is not simply a set of ideas to be held on to. It is a living relationship with a Person and His vision of life. It is a relationship that needs to grow and be deepened with the years. It is a relationship that has constantly to be re-appraised in a constantly changing world.
It is high time that we also reflected to find out where we stand, as his followers. When Jesus challenged his followers, Peter's determination was expressed. His words to Jesus are resounding through the centuries: “To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”Peter's loyalty was based on a personal relationship to Jesus. There were many things that he did not understand. But there was something in Jesus that held him fast to Jesus; that was his experience of Jesus. In the last analysis, Christianity is not a well set doctrine of dogmas, not a credible philosophy, not a well-defined Christology, but simply a personal relationship with Jesus. This personal relationship is deepened and strengthened through the Eucharist. That is why Jesus said unless you believe, and eat the flesh of the Son of Man you have no life in you.

When we are able to have a personal experience, we will become heroes of Jesus like Peter and other faithful Apostles. Let’s pray that like Peter may we have the courage to say everyday: Lord where shall I go, you have the words of eternal life.



Friday, August 10, 2018


OT XIX [B] I Kgs 19:4-8, Eph 4:30–5:2, Jn 6:41-51 

The German theologian Helmut Thielicke told of a hungry man passing a store with a sign in the window, "We Sell Bread." He entered the store, put some money on the counter, and said, "I would like to buy some bread." The woman behind the counter replied, "We don’t sell bread." "The sign in the window says that you do," the hungry man said. The woman explained, "We make signs here like the one in the window that says ‘We Sell Bread.’" But, as Thielicke concludes, a hungry man can’t eat signs.
Life sometimes fools us too. Bread isn’t always found where it seems to be. Today’s Gospel lesson picks up where we left off last week in John 6. Like the crowds looking for something else or that man looking in the wrong store, we often miss the point when God offers us enduring life in Jesus.
We are living in a world where people of all races and creeds hunger more for spiritual sustenance than for physical food.  In response to the spiritual hunger of people in his own day, Jesus, proclaims himself to be “the Bread of Life that came down from heaven.”  It is through Jesus, the bread of life, that we have access to the Divine life during our earthly pilgrimage to God.  
 Jesus makes a series of unique claims in today’s Gospel passage: 1) “I am the Living Bread that came down from Heaven.”  2)”I am the Bread of Life.”  3) “The Bread that I will give is My Flesh for the life of the world.”  Jesus’ Jewish listeners could hardly contain themselves when he claimed to be the “Bread of Life” (v. 35) who “came down from Heaven” (v. 38).  They thought they knew his father and mother (v. 42), and saw him as just another hometown boy – a carpenter by profession without any formal training in Mosaic Laws and Jewish Scriptures.  They could remember when he had moved from Nazareth to Capernaum with a band of unknown disciples, mostly fishermen.  
Jesus challenged the Jews who were upset about his claim of bread of life and his explanation, to take a journey of Faith by seeing him, not as the son of Joseph, but as the one who came down from Heaven.  By saying, “No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me …” Jesus told his listeners, that everyone who has become his follower has done so because God the Father has called him or her to Jesus. It is an act of God that has brought us to follow the way of Jesus.   Faith in Christ is God's gift; no one can conjure it up on their own in a chemistry lab. When we look at the small white Host, no scientific test can prove that Jesus Christ is truly present there, body, blood, soul, and divinity. And yet, we know that he is; we have been given the gift of faith. This is why the priest says, after the consecration at each Mass: "Let  us proclaim the mystery of faith."
 Jesus offered the ultimate reassurance to every one of us who believes when he said: “I will raise him up on the last day” ( vv.39, 40, 44, 54).  This persistent theme serves to remind us that only Jesus, the true Bread of Life, can impart the gift of eternal Life to the faithful.
Jesus himself is the "bread" of this eternal life, its source and sustenance. Without bread, without food, physical life perishes. Without Jesus, without his "flesh for the life of the world" in the Eucharist, our life of intimate communion with God will perish. It's that simple - and it's that crucial. Eleven times in this discourse Jesus speaks of himself as the bread of life; he's really hoping that we'll get the message. The gift of faith gives us access to eternal life, and the Eucharist makes that life grow within us.

Jesus wants us to eat him because he IS Bread. “You are what you eat.” Jesus is Bread and he wants us to eat his Flesh. Thus, we bring him into the core of our being. The Fathers of the Church explain that, while ordinary food is assimilated into man, the very opposite takes place in Holy Communion. Here man is assimilated into the Bread of Life. He is ready to come into our lives, regardless of who we have been, or how unqualified we feel. Let us live the life of Faith … making changes so that He becomes the staple food of our spiritual life, not a side dish. Let us be people who recognize that Jesus, whom we consume, is actually God who assimilates us into His being. Then, from Sunday to Saturday we will grow into Jesus as he grows in us, our lives will be transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit, and we will become more like him. Thus, we shall share in the joyous and challenging life of being the Body of Christ for the world – Bread for a hungry world, and Drink for those who thirst for justice, peace, fullness of life, and even eternal life.

Saturday, August 4, 2018


OT XVIII [B]: Ex 16:2-4, 12-15; Eph 4:17, 20-24; Jn 6:24-35
In the depression years of the 1930’s millions of Americans were out of work and many thousands were hungry. In a number of cities, religious groups set up bread-lines to feed the hungry. One of these was the Franciscan monastery in Cincinnati, Ohio. Every evening, the Friars, Brothers and lay volunteers prepared and gave a nourishing sandwich of bread and meat to hundreds of hungry men and women. It was interesting to note the reactions of the recipients. Many accepted the well-prepared and well-wrapped food with a smile and a thank you. Others, with heads hanging, snatched the food package and shuffled off. Some tore the bag at once and started eating as they hurried away. Most of them ate every last crumb after a silent prayer and put the wrapping into a nearby container, though some would eat only the meat and discard the bread on the roadside. A few discontented ones just opened the package and then threw the entire contents away in protest. The way those hungry unfortunates reacted to that little lunch is a lot like the way his listeners received the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel.
Jesus presents an introduction to his famous discourse on the Holy Eucharist in the form of a dialogue between Jesus and the Jews who had gone around the Lake and come to Capernaum searching for him.  The people were looking for a repeat performance of their miraculous feeding.  In answer to their question about his arrival, Jesus told them that they looked for him for another free meal and that such meals would not satisfy them. Hence, he instructed them to labor for food that would give them eternal life. True Christians, understand that real fulfillment comes from more than just making a living; it comes from making a life.

In today’s first reading the Israelites wanted their bellies filled, and complained, and were even willing to return to slavery just to have a full stomach. Jesus reminds the Jews today that full stomachs didn’t enable those Israelites under Moses to live forever, even though the Lord provided them with manna to eat. 
Like the Israelites in the First Reading the people were still seeking signs, but now the moment had come for faith, a faith that lead to no longer living as the Gentiles did, just focused on immediate needs and concerns of this life and not seeing the bigger picture where this life is a pilgrimage toward eternal life. The Israelites who grumbled in the desert didn’t live to see the Promised Land due to their lack of trust in God; the people in today’s Gospel are being extended an opportunity to one day enter into the true Promised Land, but they have to trust the new Moses–Jesus–to lead them.

Although Jesus identifies himself as "the bread of life" (v. 35), he is not yet speaking about the Sacramental Eucharist in this part of his Eucharistic discourse. Here, the emphasis is placed on the Faith-acceptance of the teaching of Jesus. In other words, Jesus states that he is nourishment, first of all, as one who offers us the life-giving words of God about the meaning of our lives.
We must believe him to be the Messiah, sent with the message that God is a loving, holy, and forgiving Father, and not a punishing judge.  Belief in Jesus is not simple intellectual assent, but an authentic, total commitment to Him of loyalty and solidarity. There is no reference yet to eating His Body or drinking His Blood, which will come later. Here, we are reminded that only a believing reception of the Body and Blood of Jesus will bring us true life.

 In the Holy Mass, the Church offers us two types of bread: a) the Bread of Life, contained in God’s Word and b) the Bread of Life, contained in the Holy Eucharist.  Unfortunately, many of us come to Mass every week only to present on the altar our earthly needs without accepting spiritual nourishment by properly receiving God’s Word and the Holy Eucharist.

When we pray: "give us this day our daily bread," let us remember that the Holy Eucharist is not simply a "snack," such as we might eat at a party or at lunch.   Jesus not only gives the Bread of Life (John 6:11, 27) -- He is the Bread of Life (John 6:35, 48).  The Giver and the Gift are one and the same.  The Eucharist is not a mere "symbol" of Jesus; rather, it is a Sacramental sign of Jesus’ Real Bodily Presence in his glorified risen Body.   As we come up to receive him today let’s believe that we are going to receive a bread that never perishes, but leads to eternal Life.



Friday, July 27, 2018


OT XVII [B]: 2 Kings 4:42-44, Eph 4:1-6, John 6:1-15 

The multiplication of the loaves is the only miracle from Jesus’ public ministry narrated in all four Gospels that has Eucharistic overtones.   This is the only miracle, other than the Resurrection, that is told in all the Gospels, a fact that speaks of its importance to the early Church. John uses this story in his Gospel to introduce Jesus’ profound and extended reflection on the Eucharist and the Bread of Life.  The Cycle B lectionary has selected portions from John chapter 6 for the next four Sundays to remind us of Jesus’ teaching on the Eucharist.  The Eucharistic coloring of the multiplication of bread is clear in Jesus’ blessing, breaking, and giving the loaves. 

The story of the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes recalls a particular aspect of the Mass. In this miracle, Jesus transforms a young boy’s offering of five barley loaves and two fish. At every Mass God wants to take from our hands the fruit of our labor and work of our hands…as the offertory prayer stresses. The offertory collection really covers that aspect of the Mass. After his resurrection, at the sea of Tiberias Jesus appeared to the disciples and let them have a miraculous catch. And he asked them to bring some of the fish that they caught to add to the fish Jesus had already caught and was baking for their breakfast. Jesus could have performed the miracle of the multiplication of bread from scratch, from nothing. But he needed the 5 loaves of the boy. Jesus could have made wine from nothing. But he used water, the servants had to work to fill the jars with water. He always takes something that we worked on for his miracles.  Therefore no Eucharist is offered without the fruit of our labor. The Eucharist brings no meaning to us if we bring nothing to the Eucharist. God in turn transforms our gifts, making this bread and wine to be the very Body and Blood of Jesus. We also offer ourselves in this exchange, and we, too, are transformed by the Eucharist. This is what the celebrant says when he mixes water with wine: By this mingling of this water and wine, may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity. Water symbolizes our humanity and Wine symbolizes Jesus’ divinity. The water is fully absorbed in to the wine. The wine doesn’t become water. The same way our humanity is fully covered in Jesus’ divinity. That is why the Mass is fully acceptable to God the Father.

The multiplication may have actually happened in the passing out of the bread from Jesus’ hands into the hands of the Apostles or to the hands of the people. Therefore the people might not have seen a large bulk of bread before them. Only later may they have realized actually what happened a little before. This is what happens at the Eucharist too. We don’t see the transubstantiation taking place, but we only hear the word, this is my body and my blood, which Jesus utters using the celebrant’s tongues. And Jesus does not make a bulk of bread and asks people to come and help themselves. Instead, he did as we do at the Mass, the priests or the Extra ordinary Ministers serve the congregation as Jesus did at the multiplication of the bread or at the last supper. Receiving means I am accepting a gift, not a right that I have that I can go and take or grab. That is the reason only the bishop or the priests who stand in place of Jesus at the Eucharist serves themselves and nobody else. None of us have a right to divine gift.

In all the accounts of the multiplication Jesus asks the Apostles to collect the left over fragments. It shows the abundance of food they had. Also that God wants no food to be wasted. That's exactly what we do with the hosts that remain after Communion; we gather them in the ciboria and reserve them in the tabernacle. All of this is no accident.
Jesus is not just giving the crowds a free lunch to show them God's generosity and concern; he is also getting them ready to understand his coming discourse about the Eucharist.

At the Eucharist every particle that has any bread quality is believed to have the presence of the Lord. Therefore one is to carefully handle each and every particle. Extra ordinary ministers who deal with the bread may feel any tiny particle stuck to their fingers when they feel the fingers together. Therefore it is advisable to rinse your fingers in the water kept in the bowl here.

This reading invites us to become humble instruments in God’s hands by sharing our blessings with our needy brothers and sisters. Miracles can happen through our hands, when we collect and distribute to the needy the food destined for all by our generous God. 

As we continue with this Mass, let's make an effort to live it deeply. And we can live it deeply, by paying attention to the sacred words of the liturgy, by stirring up sentiments of gratitude and faith in our hearts, and by remembering that we are not alone, that through this Mass we are connected to Catholics throughout the world and throughout history who have gathered around the same altar and received the same Holy Communion, obeying our Lords' command: "Do this in remembrance of me."


Saturday, July 21, 2018


OT XVI [B] Jer. 23:1-6, Eph 2:13-18, Mk 6:30-34

According to a Greek legend, in ancient Athens a man noticed the great storyteller Aesop playing childish games with some little boys. He laughed and jeered at Aesop, asking him why he wasted his time in such frivolous activity.
Aesop responded by picking up a bow, loosening its string, and placing it on the ground. Then he said to the critical Athenian, "Now, answer the riddle, if you can. Tell us what the unstrung bows implies."
The man looked at it for several moments but had no idea what point Aesop was trying to make. Aesop explained, "If you keep a bow always bent, it will break eventually; but if you let it go slack, it will be more fit for use when you want it."
People are also like that. That's why we all need to take time to rest. Start by setting aside a special time to relax physically and renew yourself emotionally and spiritually. You will be at your best for the Lord if you have taken time to loosen the bow.

Today’s Gospel passage presents the sympathetic and merciful heart of Jesus who lovingly invites his apostles to a desolate place for some rest.   Jesus had sent his apostles on their first mission, which was one of healing, teaching and preaching.  When they returned, they were no doubt exhilarated by the experience. They had witnessed at first hand the power of God’s Word.   Nonetheless, they were hungry, exhausted, and in need of rest, both physical and spiritual. In fact, Jesus was eager to hear about their missionary adventures as they proudly shared their experiences. But Jesus, too, was in need of a break from the crowds who were constantly pressing on him, demanding his attention and healing. Hence, he led the Apostles by boat to a “deserted place” on the other side of the Lake for a period of rest and sharing.

By stopping and taking breath we can gain more strength for our daily activities. That is why Jesus led the Apostles away to a deserted place. One man challenged another to an all-day wood chopping contest. The challenger worked very hard, stopping only for a brief lunch break. The other man had a leisurely lunch and took several breaks during the day. At the end of the day, the challenger was surprised and annoyed to find that the other fellow had chopped substantially more wood than he had. "I don't get it," he said. "Every time I checked, you were taking a rest, yet you chopped more wood than I did."
"But you didn't notice," said the winning woodsman, "that I was sharpening my ax when I sat down to rest."Taking time we need to sharpen our spiritual weapons to fight against the forces of evil in our life and the world.

In this day we have so many devices to save time. Yet, never before have we seen so many hurried and restless people! If the computer, the laptop, the cellular phone, and all of these other technological wonders are suppose to save us time, why do we have so little time for the things that matter?
Today's man is in constant danger of becoming enslaved by the very things that were supposed to make his life more convenient. No matter where he goes, his work goes with him. It seems that with all we've accomplished, about all we have really added is speed and noise. We get there faster, but we don't know where we are going. And when we get there, we're out of breath.
Once a man swallowed an egg whole. He was afraid to move because he was afraid it would break. But he was afraid to sit still because he was afraid it would hatch. There are a lot of people like that today--so frenetic, so pressured they don't know which way to go. It is an old and ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way. Check if we are running faster, it means we have lost our way.

A story is told about some African workers who were hired to carry heavy equipment on their backs to a remote outpost. It was a place that couldn't be reached any other way but on foot. After several days of difficult travel, the workers refused to pick up their packs and go any further. They sat by the side of the trail ignoring the shouts of the leader of the expedition. Finally the leader asked why they wouldn't go on. One of the workers replied, "Sir, we are waiting for our souls to catch up with our bodies." We need to slack down and let our souls to catch up with our bodies that they are together back again. Our bodies may be running faster, but the soul which is not in a rush takes its time. So, slow down couple of times a day to get the soul catch up with you. Many of us do critically important work and find ourselves exhausted. Yet we don't rest.

The disciples have returned from their travels, but the pace has not slackened. As the Gospel reports, “Many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.” Does that scene sound familiar to us? Is our workplace like that? Is our home like that? Many are coming and going, and they have no leisure even to eat. Do we have some time to eat some spiritual food in an unhurried manner? Let’s accept the invitation of the Lord today, to come away to a deserted place and spend some time with him.