15th Week in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Is 26:7-9, 12, 16-19
The way of the just is smooth; the path of the just you make level. Yes, for your way and your judgments, O LORD, we look to you; Your name and your title are the desire of our souls. My soul yearns for you in the night, yes, my spirit within me keeps vigil for you; When your judgment dawns upon the earth, the world’s inhabitants learn justice. O LORD, you mete out peace to us, for it is you who have accomplished all we have done. O LORD, oppressed by your punishment, we cried out in anguish under your chastising. As a woman about to give birth writhes and cries out in her pains, so were we in your presence, O LORD. We conceived and writhed in pain, giving birth to wind; Salvation we have not achieved for the earth, the inhabitants of the world cannot bring it forth. But your dead shall live, their corpses shall rise; awake and sing, you who lie in the dust. For your dew is a dew of light, and the land of shades gives birth.
Gospel: Mt 11:28-30
Jesus said: “Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
TOTAL SURRENDER TO GOD’S PLAN: It is very consoling to listen to Jesus saying, “Come to me … and I will give you rest”. We have many burdens we carry on our shoulders. There are many wounds which we nurse. Sometimes the burden becomes so heavy that we find life difficult. We become discouraged and disillusioned. St. Irenaeus said, “the Glory of God is a human being fully alive”. If we don’t live our lives to its fullness then we are not fulfilling the plan of God. If we carry heavy luggage, we find the going difficult. It is in this context that we need to turn to God and seek his wisdom, guidance and comfort in him. Let us unload our worries and problems at his feet. There is nothing impossible for him or happens without his knowledge. We shall find comfort and solace in his loving presence in our life.
Prayer: Lord help me to trust in Thee.
GOD COMFORTS: “…your dead shall live, their corpses shall rise; awake and sing, you who lie in the dust.” Isaiah prophesies of a glorious time when enduring peace and prosperity will prevail, not only for Israel, but for all humanity. This transformation is accomplished by Jesus when he establishes God’s Kingdom. He invites us, “come to me” than go to “the wise and the intelligent” of this world to find comfort and consolation. Compared to the heavy burden imposed by the religious authorities of his time, the yoke that Jesus asks us to carry is very light. In fact, we can unburden all our worries and concerns at his feet and find freedom and peace of heart. In whatever burdening situations we find ourselves, we have a sure recourse in Jesus. We have numerous testimonies of people who turn to Jesus and find their lives transformed from hopelessness to new life, from the verge of committing suicide to fullness of joy. What makes the burden light is the relationship of love between Jesus and us.
THERE IS A LIGHTER YOKE: The message of God to His people through Moses is I AM WHO I AM. I have seen your suffering and I have come to save you. In the gospel of today Jesus invites all those who labor and are burdened to have rest in him. He does not attach any cost to his offer but openly invites all the concerned to this divine rest. He says that His yoke is smooth and lighter to stop working for other cruel masters and work for Him. He invites those who have been working hard, seeking happiness and satisfaction in different persons, activities, preoccupations, ideologies and acts to the rest which their souls desire. For as St. Augustine says: “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”