Mt 11, 28- 30
‘Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’
What a wonderful invitation from the Lord and how deep can we look into his heart! Already in today’s reading in the book of Isaiah, the Lord wants to teach his people how much he looks after us, accompanies and supports us.
“He gives strength to the weary, he strengthens the powerless but those who hope in Yahweh will regain their strength, they will sprout wings like eagles, though they run they will not grow weary, though they walk they will never tire.” (Isa 40,29.31)
Also the Exodus from Psalm 103, which is scheduled for this day, speaks of the merciful affection that God has for us!
What comforting words! God is not far and not indifferent to the way of man. As he daily counts the host of stars (cf. Isa 40,26), he called us by name and we belong to him (cf. Isa 43,1)!
Actually, this knowledge should give us great security, because true security in our lives arises when we are loved! Especially when we can walk with our burdens and plagues to someone who helps us to carry them, makes them more bearable for us, and even transforms burdens and plagues into tasks that are given to us, which are involved in the plan of salvation!
This is probably an aspect of peace that the Lord wants us to procure: not to be exposed to these plagues and burdens alone, not to slip into the temptation of futility, but to know the companionship and love of the Lord and to enter into the conversation with Him which He lovingly offers us! So we learn that we are not simply exposed to our weaknesses, but a comforting and loving heart is with us!
But the invitation of the Lord goes even further and does not only stay with the consolation in our needs!
Jesus speaks again that he wants to give us rest! This time he speaks of his gentle yoke, of the school in which he invites us, and of the kindness and humility of his heart!
This is the invitation to follow him, in which the deepest meaning of our existence opens up! This is another dimension of peace that we receive! It is the inner peace, to be on the path God has prepared for us! It is the peace, not to have to search anymore, where the small door is to the entrance into the kingdom of God, but to have found the one that my soul loves! It fulfils that word of St. Augustine: “Restless is our soul until she finds peace in you.”
Now the yoke of the Lord is waiting for us not only to know the goodness and humility of his heart, but that our heart itself will become as his heart, and that the virtues and the gifts of the Holy Spirit will fully unfold! We are called to become like him!
Many people may think that this is a difficult road! But let them remember that this is a path in truth and love, and so we enter into the true dimension of our human life! Yes, we must leave things behind us, we have to change ourselves, everything should be cleaned up and overcome, which does not correspond to the goodness and humility of the Heart of Jesus! That may seem hard! But is not that a light, even sweet load? Isn´t it true that our heart-hardening, our pride and stubbornness charge us heavy burdens and also for our fellow human beings?
Jesus offers us to carry these burdens to Him.
But there is still a “sweet burden” waiting for us!
If we know this infinite love of God and are guided by it, then it is our task to tell people about this Lord, how he loves them! Isn´t this an invitation to participate in the “compulsion of love” of which St. Paul speaks, to testify to the Gospel (1 Cor 9:16), to consciously take upon us the gentle yoke of evangelization?
How can we thank the Lord more than answering to his invitation and gladly accepting his gentle yoke! His yoke does not depress and his burden is light, because everything is carried by love and truth!