Come to me and I will give you rest
Fr Paul reads the Gospel from Matthew (11: 28-30) in which Jesus invites us to rest in him.
Fr Paul says there are a couple of ways this piece of scripture has been interpreted. For Judaism, the law was all-important and yet it placed burdens on people that many were not able to live out. We hear of some of these rituals through the scriptures.
If we look at harnessed oxen, we see the yoke that weighs them down. There are burdens, too, in every life that weigh down on us; there are worries, responsibilities or things that, sometimes, without us even knowing, just start to weigh or press down on us.
What is beautiful, says Fr Paul, and is at the heart of this Gospel, is the invitation that Jesus extends with those beautiful words ‘Come to me’. Jesus is inviting us to come, to spend time with him, to look at how he lives his life. Jesus is inviting us to shrug off or put down those things that weigh us down, that distract us… even if it is only for a short time to just rest with him and allow him to lighten our burdens.
For Fr Paul, this is a very beautiful image: coming to Jesus, putting down what weighs on me, then through my interactions with Jesus, coming away with a lighter heart.
For our reflection today, Fr Paul suggests we consider ‘What’s weighing down on me at the present time? What are the things I can come to Jesus with and place with him and then allow him to lighten my load?’