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14th Sunday of the Year, A

The conversations overheard at a bus shelter or in the waiting-room of a clinic can be quite revealing.
A woman may tell another: “You look tired…”
To which the other replies: “Tired is not the word I am exhausted! It seems I get up in the morning as tired as when I went to bed the night before…”

The man waiting for his medical appointment may whisper to a neighbour: “I want the doctor to give me tablets to sleep. I can’t cope any more.
The stress at work is more than I can bear, I am at the end of my tether, I am afraid I’m heading for a breakdown…”

Modern life can indeed be very stressful with its many tasks and its multiple demands made on our time and energy.
It seems that our agendas are always full of things to be done, people to meet, engagements to keep, commitments to honour –
and the list of them all is tiring even to look at!

And then… today’s gospel message (14th Sunday, Year A – Mt.11:25-30) finds its way to our attention and the words slowly sink in:

“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.”

It sounds nearly too good to be true!
REST! Relief from the burdens we carry from day to day.
Some time to breathe, to stop running here and there.
A moment to look around and notice the green of the new leaves and the sun shining through them.

Reading the words of this text of the gospel, taking in each word slowly and letting it reach our worried minds and anxious hearts…
Of the many people who can speak like the two mentioned above, I ask myself: ‘How many would take Jesus at his word? 

How many would come to him and tell him what they spontaneously admit to a friend or neighbour?…’
“Lord, I can’t cope any longer, it’s too much for me.
I am so t i r e d , my burdens are too many and too heavy their weight…”
How many would heed his call: “Come to me… you will find rest.”
It has been said that God does not necessarily take away from us those burdens we find heavy and painful but he will carry them with us.
Shouldering his yoke means: to take on his ways, walking and working at his rhythm.
And yes, accepting to learn from him the meaning of life and its many tasks – those we take on willingly and those imposed on us…
And – amazingly – finding with him an unexpected and so welcome REST!

Source: Image: Pinterest


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