Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
(Hebrews 4:1-5.11; Mark 2:1-12)
When Martin Luther King and companions called the bus strike in Montgomery, Alabama, many African-Americans walked to work. It was no mean sacrifice since the walkers often stood on their feet all day at their jobs. Yet they were willing to do it because they knew the bus strike was a step toward racial justice. One elderly lady who had participated in the strike expressed her satisfaction at day’s end. “My feet are tired,” she said, “but my soul’s at rest.” The author of the Letter to the Hebrews expresses such paradoxical rest as his hope for the people he addresses in the first reading today.
Rest is always more than inaction. True rest includes the satisfaction of knowing that one has done his or her very best. When a teacher returns home after of a full day of instructing, disciplining, and encouraging her students, she can rest. We bear with difficulties and seek ways to announce the good news of God’s love so that we might enter God’s eternal rest. Others may dismiss our efforts with faint praise, but we do not live to impress them, at least beyond the desire that they too might know the love of Jesus. No, we live in order to rest with our Lord.