- The Abbey of the Genesee - https://www.geneseeabbey.org -

January 19, 2016

Fr. Isaac Slater, OCSO

2nd Wednesday of Ordinary Time

“The Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath.”

This doesn’t mean we can ‘take it or leave it’…or that we can go to mass every Sunday, check it off our list and expect we’ll magically be righteous.

It doesn’t mean we can wag our fingers at Catholics who may not go to mass every Sunday and, like modern Pharisees, pride ourselves on our observance of externals but miss the spirit.

‘Human beings look to appearances but God knows the heart’

The Sabbath was made for us—it is a gift ….from a Father who loves us … and who knows what we need before we ask.

We can hardly force someone to relax into the serenity and refreshment of Sunday morning…

The requirement of weekly observance is there to remind us of the gift… so that we easily and gratefully rejoice in the day of rest.

If we treat it simply as an obligation, a hoop to jump through, before long it will be meaningless and very likely Sunday will become a day like any other.

Monastic life extends Sunday throughout the week—we continually set aside our work, light and easy to begin with, and return to the liturgy, to a book, to intervals of silence.

When we are tempted to clog these up—with busy-work, distractions, extra-curricular activities… out of fear of boredom, fear of intimacy, fatigue or restlessness: it can help to recall that leisure and silence… are less an obligation—one more thing to DO— than a gift: a continual, gentle invitation, even amidst the busyness of necessary work, to turn aside for a moment inwardly and relax into the Lord’s loving presence:

‘Come to me all you who labor and are over-burdened, and I will give you rest.’