Jesus' Cure for Heavy Burdens 

Scripture   Matthew 11:25-30


Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying

heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you, and

learn from me;

for I am gentle and humble in heart,

and you will find rest for your souls.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.


This seems to be such a fitting Gospel for launching us into the beginning of summer and that very special time for rest, relaxation, yes, holidays! This wonderfully longed for expanded time of leisure is really essential to our spiritual lives! So, as we listen today to Jesus' cure for heavy burdens and stress-filled lives, let us lie back in repose and try to take in the extravangance of God's divine and all-engaging love.


We have just recently celebrated the solemnity of the Sacred Heart. This is really Love’s feast day. Such is the inexhaustible wealth of God’s love that no one can ever touch its abyss, plummet its depths, or scale it heights, for God’s love is beyond our grasp. Yet each and every one of us, in all the uniqueness of our personality, does proclaim, celebrate and witness ‘something’ of this inexhaustible wealth of Love in our own lives.


Today’s Gospel invites us to reflect on our relationship with Love and its twofold dynamic – “Come to Me” and “Learn of Me”. Jesus says “Come to Me all you who are weary and overburdened”. Come to Me – a free, gratuitous and unconditional invitation. Come, just as you are, weary, broken, shackled, needy, poor. You don’t have to be perfect, good, strong, holy, ‘have it all together’.  My choice of you in love is not because you have any greatness, power or influence, or any special significance at all – it is simply my preferential love for the poor, the least, the needy. I want you to know that YOU are lovable and loved.


It is this lowliness and this littleness that attracts the love of God toward us. Our very poverty - those small frailities, weaknesses and limitations  -can actually be what lures God’s love towards us. Yes, it seems that those very places that we shy away from and so often resist and refuse to acknowledge, are, in God’s wisdom, the very gifts which draw us closer into relationship. It was as Paul says, ‘while we were yet in our sin” that Jesus died for us.  Such is the incomprehensibleness of God’s love.


“Come to Me” in all your weakness and neediness, whatever it be. A consciousness of our poverty is what actually opens us to receive the living God in a mystical kind of knowing.  Often just in the moment when one claims and expresses one's weakness, or addiction, attachment, or extreme moral poverty, God's grace and light flood the soul. Mystics throughout the ages, have described this being 'hollowed out' and at the same time being 'hallowed' as the inflowing God emerges forth from some hidden interior depths. This necessary emptying out of egoic cares and dramas are those "burdens and yokes" that Jesus speaks about. They keep us from evolving into our full potential as persons. Once emptied of these, then our beings have the capacity to be flooded with a uniqueness and greatness which is of God. Then Wealth and Poverty embrace! 


So, when we feel like we have nothing to offer this Jesus but our poverty, Jesus gives us pure Wealth – the gift of fullness of Life and Love and Light.  It is such sweet refreshment for the soul to be offered all this 'communion of wealth and poverty' commingling and at the same time, the yoke being snapped; the burdens being no longer wearisome! There is no greater summer vacation that this one - to come to know, by experience, ‘something’ of the inexhaustible richness of God’s love for us personally. This is  pure gift love!  In no way is it EVER experienced as condescending or belittling. Rather this love is experienced as ennobling love, transforming love, a love that unites and heals.


And Jesus says:  “Learn of me… for I am meek and humble of heart.”  Learn how to love like this from the Great Lover. Let yourself fall into the mystery, in secret, in hiddenness, in your quiet leisure. This self-emptying work of the Divine Lover transpires most often quietly and imperceptivity by our simply remaining receptive to the mystery unfolding. That's why John of the Cross spoke of it as a 'dark night for the soul." Listen to Jesus' teaching and modelling for us the manner of loving in meekness and lowliness. Let these Gospel words soak into our hearts very much like osmosis. For it happens yes, by the constant intimacy and intensity of our loving communion.


This is the fruit of contemplation. There is  the inward flowing and outward going of a deep compassion. It is in this coming to Jesus and learning the ways of Jesus in this receptive attitude that will truly bring a deep rest for our souls.  Certainly Jesus does not mean a rest of doing nothing, or a passive slumber of complacency.  It is a rest from those self-labours, from those 'trying too hard by myself' labours, that this Great Love can redeem. What was real labor for the soul was the effort required to keep up the image of self-sufficiency, the labor of trying to hold together the duplicity and support the masks and illusions before ourselves and others. This is burdensome. This makes us weary.


Coming to Me just as you are in all your poverty and vulnerability is true rest of the soul! The surrendered soul’s rest is ALWAYS found in remaining receptive to this great Love. And this Love is a very dynamic interior activity. It is love’s labour and love’s rest. It abides and it generates more active and inclusive loving... it is eternal and it is NOW.

The invitation placed before us today is not one that we respond to just once. Rather it is a relationship of coming into the Heart of God and learning there a way of loving that is dynamic and continuous, that is passionate and unifying. Let our prayer be that around the world we human beings grow in this deep desire to become one in this great unifying, gathering-up-into one as God's heart so desires too. Cease not our hearts to grow daily in love with Love. Love always begets more love. Love creates love. Our destiny here as human beings is to become instruments of love, channels of this love flowing forth from the Sacred Heart of God who,  immersing himself in the world with us as Jesus-Emmanuel makes that Love visible in and through our lives of meekness, humility and compassion. 


We make this truly Love’s feast day when we respond to Jesus' "Come to Me and learn from Me" invitation. What a wonderful re-newed family, re-newed neighbourhood, re-newed world this would be if all of us  - with all the gratitude, generosity and love in our ‘poor’ hearts - made this a summer Festival of Compassion. The 'little plan' is still as simple as 'Do unto others as you would like them to do unto you." 


Carrying Grace        I will do unto others as I would like them to do unto me.



#1 rosemaryo 2012-07-05 21:37
Wishing all our readers a very pleasant safe and relaxing summer.

You must LOGIN to add a comment.