Workaholic: Balancing Service and Solitude
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
Efficiency is with the regular alternation of work and rest. The generation lost the sense of service. The leaders prefer not to pay attention to the need of those entrusted to their care. They budget for more vacation and escapes than for the work they formerly sworn in. The regular leave of absence of the head has scattered all the sheep and left the weak to the wild.
Jeremiah utters God’s plan to settle the case between the lazy shepherds and the deserted flock. He says to the shepherds, “the Lord will attend to you for your evil doings”. And to the sheep, “the Lord will gather you, the remnants; he will bring you back to the fold, and you shall be fruitful and multiply.” The days are surely coming when God will appoint the good shepherd over his people. This new shepherd will deal wisely and shall execute fair justice in the land. On that day, people will live in safety. The people will name the good leader, ‘The-Lord-our-integrity’. (Cf. Jeremiah 23:1-6) Truly God does not condole laziness and too much of solitude.
Now, Jesus reconciles all the opposing parties. Those who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. He is the true peace that breaks down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility that separates nations, and races and religions. Through the cross of Christ, we all have free access to God, the Father. (Cf. Ephesians 2:13-18)
Some people prefer their solitude to being engaged in doing something. But some other people overwork themselves to the point that they fall sick when they are given chance to break from their responsibility. Too much work ends into burnout, the total exhaustion of the person that leads to being emotionally drained with a non-enabled body.
Jesus does not want his followers to become workaholic. The disciples are back from their mission; they are overwhelmed by their achievement. Jesus sends them off to the solitude of a deserted place for leisure and rest. But when the people would not allow the disciples to rest, Jesus takes charge of the duty of his followers and with compassion he does the ministry by himself. (Cf. Mark 6:30-34) Jesus sees the great crowd and acts like the good shepherd who lays down his life for both the crowd and the disciples. (Cf. John 10:11)
You too must strike the balance between work and rest. Never be afraid of leaving rest to work. Life is better when service and solitude rotate like the bicycle wheels. Let’s do something different now.
Fr. Simon, SMA