A Time For Rest
The invitation of Jesus to find peace in his presence is one of the most popular of his sayings. He is contrasting his message with the burdensome law, which somehow had lost the heart of religion, over-emphasising the externals of laws and rituals. He is not devaluing laws and rituals but putting them in their place. He offers an invitation that everyone can hear; and at many times of life we really need to hear it. These may be times of illness, bereavement, anxiety, depression and/or worry. It is an invitation to come into his presence, which is a loving presence. It’s not just an invitation to enjoy a restful time, but to rest in the presence of love.
Any notion we have of Jesus that is harsh is false: he is ‘gentle and humble in heart’. This is the atmosphere he asks us all to spread. ‘Once you have received the refreshment and comfort of Christ, we are called in turn to become refreshment and comfort for our brothers and sisters, with a meek and humble attitude, in imitation of the Master’ (Pope Francis, July 2014).
The church is a place of rest for the weary; the place where we find encouragement in the ordinary situations in our lives, where we are called to respond to those who suffer through poverty, homelessness and many other unjust social situations that are part of our world, near and far.
Recall last week where you needed to hear these words, or met someone else who needed to hear them, maybe through you. Speak to the Lord in your own words. Take into your hands, Lord, the burdens in my life; help me to trust in you.
Reflection by Donal Neary S. J.