First Down (June 3, 2018)

Dear Friends,

The life of Jesus shown in the scriptures has many times given me some comfort and insights into real human life. My spirit is uplifted when Jesus takes time to rest, not being busy with activities at every moment. When His disciples are looking for him because there are many people to heal and see, Jesus is found by himself praying and resting. The humanity of Jesus is something I hope that every one of us can learn from. Humanity needs rest, time for one to recharge, be renewed and live a balanced life.

The summer time in the Valley finds people changing their schedule and routine. Some are able to have the gift of traveling to see new places and to get away for a vacation. Some leave to be with family members, while others have another place to escape for weekends or some extended time away. I hope that everyone knows that it is a holy time to rest, to get away and/ or change one’s routine.

As Americans our surveys say we take the least amount of time away from work for vacation time. Work can be a gift from God, as we can be productive and hopefully see our work as contributing to the common good. It could be helpful if we recognized that vacation time could be used to reconnect with relationships that could use some attention. This might be family or friends who live some distance from us that we do not get to see often. Or, it might even be family members that live under the same roof. Sometimes busy activities can cause important relationships to suffer. Vacations, time away and break from routines are all paths that God gives to us to rest and make better the relationships that need our attention.

Now if getting away is a good and holy thing we all need to know that it is important to give thanks to God for giving us this gift. The relationship with God also needs our attention. Getting away from here should not neglect our relationship with God. When traveling to other places it might be good to experience Mass at different places. When Mass is not nearby, taking some time to pray, to read the Sunday scriptures or to spend some time on the Sabbath to praise God are all good things to do.

To simply decide to skip Mass, prayer and the Sabbath all together is not using the gift of rest wisely. One simply does not “earn” time to vacation, we Christians know that it is a gift from God.

Some families might struggle to change the mindset of not going to Mass or setting time aside for God. How about planning with the family some time for God? Getting away from our everyday activities are good things, but it should not include taking a break from God.

Peace in Christ,

Fr. Eric