HomeCommentaryBALIK-TANAW: Rest


The setting of the sun signals the time to come home, a time for rest from the daily toils. But for the poor workers in highly urbanized areas rest is a luxury.

The non-stop rotation of work propagated by capitalism, rest is counter-productive. There is no rest for the weary.

A worker will go home after his laborious and intensive job, he will be catching up his ride home, squeezed their way into jam-packed buses or jeepneys during the rush hour trapped in heat of the city traffic, and the crowd’s lot.

There is no such thing as rest in a third world-capitalist laden society. Without rest, we are just like machines, devoid of meaning.

Tired and weary, the workers will arrive too late in the evening, have dinner to whatever is the cheapest available meal- worth the budget they can get from having to receive a minimum wage of P570.

They will wake up very early in the morning, to queue on the toilet shared with neighborhood, and make it sure to use only one pail of water, as it costs them P2.00 per bucket.

Having breakfast of cheaply sold noodles with coffee is a luxury…only to find themselves going back to work again, to be a slave for another day. A day-to-day grind to push through another day.

- Newsletter -

There is no rest. No weekend to look forward to. Up until today, it makes them wonder what “Happy weekend” is all about. No summer vacation for sea, sand or sun, for theirs is indebtedness.

There is no rest for the weary.

“I believe in God. In the midst of hardship and constant threats of demolition, I ask God, ‘Where were you when our house was being demolished? Are you really accompanying us?’ Then I looked up the sky, I saw high rising buildings that prevent me from seeing heaven” say Nanay Inday, an urban poor leader.

There is no rest.

Yet, here comes Jesus, promising rest, his yoke is easy and his burden is light.

He knows. He believes when the poor cry or is in grief. He knows their thirst and hunger. He knows when they could not raise their heads and pray.

Come to Jesus. He believes when the poor cry or is in grief. When the poor longs for rest, he knows. Who would not aspire and dream for rest from oppression, exploitation and denial of rights and dignity? Who would not long for a rest from hunger, disease and thirst?

Jesus’ platform and mission includes a life of healthy living – we need rest, to be renewed and to be restored. But until such a system of exploitation exists, REST becomes a privilege of the few. Rest should be for everybody. We must resist to rest. To resist from oppression, is also to receive abundant life—where burden is shared.

“Everyone will find rest beneath their own fig trees or grapevines, and they will live in pace. This is a solemn promise of the Lord All-Powerful.” Micah 4:4 (CEV).

Gospel reflection of Dss. Norma P. Dollaga of KASIMBAYAN for the 14th Sunday of Ordinary Time. Zec 9:9-10, Ps 145:1-2, 8-9, 10-11, 13-14, Rom 8:9, 11-13, Mt 11:25-30

Balik-Tanaw is a group blog of the Promotion of Church People’s Response (PCPR). The Lectionary Gospel reflection is an invitation for meditation, contemplation, and action.

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