Eighth Sunday after Pentecost: Week 11 in Ordinary Time

& archive, Year B.

Lord Jesus Christ,
You call us to come
To be with you,
And to learn trust
As I rest and do nothing.
Help me to hear your voice in the midst of being busy.
to follow you in all of life,
To walk in the leisure and freedom of the resurrection,
Indwelt and led by your Pentecost Spirit.

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost: Week 11 in Ordinary Time

As we gather in Capernaum – at the invitation of our lectionary guide – we find ourselves in Simon Peter’s house as the disciples return from being engaged in ministry out and among the villages of Galilee. (Mark 6:12,13,30-32)

As we listen in they begin to tell Jesus all that they have done and taught in response to his guidance and sending. We hear how they had proclaimed the Good News of the kingdom coming close, inviting persons to turn from the direction their lives have been headed and to discover the life-giving ways of Jesus. We also learn that the authority given them by Jesus had enabled them to minister healing to persons who needed freedom from demonic harassment, and to persons who were sick in body.

However, many other persons come to visit Simon’s house, continually interrupting the flow of conversation. Jesus is also aware of the interruptions, and of how busy the house has become – to the point that mealtimes are overlooked, and any sense of leisure is forgotten.

Leisure is a rare word in the scriptures – but even more so in our present age and culture. To discover the root meaning of this word we trace a path back through Middle English, then to early French, and finally to Latin. Leisure means to be permitted. We are given permission to stop, to disengage: from duties which consume, responsibilities that wear us down, and activities which tire us out.

It is rare that our present culture and pace of life offers such permission. But Jesus does. Here we are invited to pause and reflect on what drives us. What causes us to say: “I have to finish this project, there is no time for prayer” or “If I don’t get this done, then . . . “ We are more addicted to the rush and anxiety of the world’s pace than we realize. But Jesus gives us permission to stop, and to walk away from the daily work and rush.
Permission for rest and leisure.

Take some time to reflect on your daily life and work. What do you sense drives you? What do you desire? And in what way does being permitted by Jesus to stop and to receive rest, to be in a place of prayerful presence, harmonize with your desire – and finally stills the loud and insistent demands of our present culture and world?

Prayer before reading:
Lord Jesus Christ,
You come to us
In the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Holy Spirit,
Help me to be aware of how you come,
To be hospitable to your help,
And to your leading in the way of Jesus.

Eighth Sunday after Pentecost: Week 11 in Ordinary Time

  • 7/16 Monday: Mark 6:30-34
  • 7/17 Tuesday: Mark 6:53-56
  • 7/18 Wednesday: Psalm 23
  • 7/19 Thursday: 2 Samuel 7:1-14a
  • 7/20 Friday: Ephesians 2:11-22
  • 7/21 Saturday: Mark 6:30-34
  • 7/22 Sunday: Mark 6:53-56