The Place Of Rest Prepared For Us

Friday of Week 1 in Ordinary Time - Cycle I

Heb. 4:1-5, 11 & Mk.2:1-12

What sad words they are in the first reading, “I swore that not one would reach the place of rest I had for them.” God is speaking about those Jews in the wilderness who had been freed from the tyranny of Pharaoh but, despite all the signs and wonders He had worked for them, they were unfaithful to Him. If we are unfaithful to God after all He has done for us those very words could apply to us.

We pray for the departed with the words, “May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace.” The place of rest that God has planned for them is Heaven. We read that after God’s work of creation He rested. You could say He sat back and looked upon all He had done and saw that it was all very good. His rest was not a relief from exhaustion but rather satisfaction and contentment in what He had accomplished. If when our life is completed and we have lived good Christian lives, then we can be happy that God has accomplished His work in us, and we can rest in and with the Lord.

The paralysed man in the Gospel came away from Jesus with far more than he expected. He must have rejoiced at the fact he could walk again. He never expected He would leave Jesus with all his sins forgiven. This means that he must have been truly sorry for all the sins he had committed to that point in his life or he would not have received forgiveness from Jesus. Let us remember that we too share his joy every time we go to confession and, with a firm resolve to live better lives, are truly sorry for our sins.

Holy Spirit, when our life ends may we be content that our heavenly Father has accomplished His work in us, and we can then rest in and with Him in Heaven.