Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest is still open, let us take care that none of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For indeed the good news came to us just as to them; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.
For we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “As in my anger I swore, ‘They shall not enter my rest,’” though his works were finished at the foundation of the world. For in one place it speaks about the seventh day as follows, “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.”
And again in this place it says, “They shall not enter my rest.” Since therefore it remains open for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again he sets a certain day—“today” —saying through David much later, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not speak later about another day. So then, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labors as God did from his.
After celebrating Advent and Christmas, we are in our first week of Ordinary Time. Likewise, our holiday season has finished and regular activities have resumed in our daily schedule. Today Friday, our first reading reminds us of the importance of resting just as God did on the seventh day. The recipients of this message are on track to reach a goal but at risk of giving up. The author reminds us how important it is to strive to enter into the rest of God. Rather than making haste to enjoy free time, we are encouraged to make specific and sustained efforts to deserve it. What are the efforts that we made this week to keep and share the joy we received during the holidays?
In our Ignatian spirituality we are called to be companions of Jesus. As we celebrated with joy his Nativity, let us walk with him in this new journey, keeping in mind we need to balance both working and resting time continually placing our hope in God and looking forward to fulfilling God´s will.
—Fr. Hugo Gomez Sevilla is a Jesuit from Colombia, currently pursuing graduate studies in educational leadership at Loyola University Chicago.
Lord, teach me to be generous, to serve you as you deserve: to give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labor and not to ask for any reward, but that of knowing that I do your will.
—St. Ignatius Loyola, Click here for the downloadable prayer card.Please share the Good Word with your friends!