Homilies

“Stop the world, I want to get off!” Some of you may remember this film from the early 60’s and the hit song made famous by Sammy Davis Jr. ,“What Kind of Fool am I?”. The show, set against a circus backdrop, follows the life of the main character, Littlechap, from his birth to his death. Anytime things became too intense or too busy, Littlechap would yell out “Stop the World!” and then he would turn to address the audience. Do you feel that way at times? I know that I do. It seems like the world is spinning faster and faster than ever before. Sometimes it is hard to catch a breath. Many would argue that it is our own fault. We actually have a hard time slowing down, don’t we? We like for things to be fast and efficient. Think about the things that we use in everyday life intending to save our valuable time: dishwashers, microwaves, computers and cell phones. Yes, these things were invented to help us but the truth is, they often keep us busier than ever before. Many of us wear our “busi-ness” as a badge of honor. With this in mind, I think it is a good time to focus on the invitation that Jesus offers in today’s Gospel to his first disciples, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest for a while”.

Let’s look at the scene. The apostles had just returned from their first mission trip. You will recall from the gospel last weekend, that Jesus sent the Twelve out in pairs to preach and heal. They were excited to be back and tell Jesus all that they had done. But Jesus gave them another instruction. “Be still. Rest.” Take some time to recharge your spiritual batteries as well as rest your physical bodies.

This is good advice for all of us. We all need to build time for reflection and rest into our busy lives. Working without relaxation, and being busy without taking holidays is not sustainable for anyone. We all need time off, to relax, and talk to God in prayer and meditation. Now, there’s a good chance that you will all agree with this and yet still say, “My life is crazy….Where can I find the time?” I believe that we can all find time if we are creative. So where do you go to get away from it all? Where do you go for silence and solitude? Some of you may have time and resources enough to take a trip or go to a beach house to unwind. But I am telling you that you do not need a fancy destination getaway. Any place where you can tune out the world’s noise can be a resting place. If you are in your car, turn off the radio and spend those few minutes in prayer. When you are sitting in line at the drive-through, use that time to speak to Jesus. When you are having your morning coffee, turn off the television set and sit quietly with God. These moments of silence can be a time to find new strength and peace.

I want to close with a quote from Corrie ten Bloom, the well-known Dutch Christian writer of the last century: “If the devil can’t make you sin, he’ll make you busy. Busy is good enough to the devil, because it doesn’t leave any time to worship or pray or rest in God.” So let us take this message home with us today. Make time for Christ. Take time to rest and talk to God. Remember those important words that we just heard in the 23rd Psalm: “beside restful waters He leads me; He refreshes my soul.”