A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Friday, January 12, 2007

Entering into God's rest

In today's first reading (Hebrews 4:1-5, 11), we hear additional reflections on the last words of Psalm 95: "They shall never enter into my rest."

Two questions are addressed: what is that "rest"? And why could the ancient Israelites not enter into it?

Last things first, disobedience kept the ancient Israelites from entering into God's rest in the Promised Land.

But that place of rest in the land of Canaan was not the full "rest" that God wishes to share with his people.

Scripture scholars point out that it was Joshua who finally led the children of Israel into the Promised Land and that the name we translate as Joshua we also translate as Jesus.

Joshua in some respects foreshadows Jesus: leading God's people into God's rest.

This brings us to the second question: what is that "rest"?

The "rest" into which Christ leads us is far more wonderful and far more restful than simply a land of safety flowing with milk and honey.

In the letter to the Hebrews, this rest is explicitly tied to the rest that God himself took following the creation of the world.

Yet the "rest" into which Christ leads his faithful people is not just a glorified Sabbath at the end of time: it is truly entering into God's own rest, to rest in God and with God - in a peace that surpasses all understanding, for it is a resting in perfect infinity and eternity itself.

Finite beings that we are, we cannot create or enter into that rest ourselves, rather we must open ourselves completely in obedience to the grace of God so that we may be led into that rest and filled with it by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

By the grace of Christ, may we always be open to him and let ourselves by molded by him so that we may enter into God's infinitely delightful rest.