Jesus said to the crowds: “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.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
The call of God in every life is to love. Those who truly love know that it comes not only with great reward, but with a cost as well. It takes great energy to enter into the life of another person; to accompany them, to know and understand their person and their needs.
Through the Incarnation, Jesus took on our human condition. He knows what it is like to enter into the life of another person. He experience hunger, thirst, and weariness, even pain. We can look at the Incarnation as a means by which Jesus took our yoke upon himself in order to show solidarity in the process of revealing the presence of God in our midst. Today’s Gospel is Jesus’ invitation to us to take his yoke and learn from him.
During my walk yesterday, I prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the rosary. As I pray the rosary, I like to take just a few moments at the beginning of each decade to ponder the mystery for deeper understanding. The first Sorrowful Mystery recalls the agony of Jesus in the Garden as he enters into his passion.
What did Jesus see and hear from the Father during that period of prayer? Surely, Jesus experienced the Father ‘giving Himself’ in love. Truly, what the Father was asking of the Son, namely to give himself for the salvation of the world, Jesus received from the Father, namely, the Father giving himself in love to Jesus.
My reflection came to mind as I read the first reading today. This is what Jesus received from the Father:
Do you not know or have you not heard? The Lord is the eternal God, creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint nor grow weary, and his knowledge is beyond scrutiny. He gives strength to the fainting; for the weak he makes vigor abound. Though young men faint and grow weary, and youths stagger and fall, they that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles’ wings; they will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint. (Isaiah 40:25-31)
The Father not only sustained Jesus during his passion, but gave him the strength to bring to completion the Paschal Mystery. In the same way, Jesus comes to be our strength, most especially when we are doing his work. Jesus is the one who sustains us that we may complete the Father’s will in each of our lives.
So, when we grow weary in the day-to-day demands of striving to grow in holiness, of being faithful to our life as a husband or wife or priest or consecrated man or woman, we have our strength in Christ. When you get frustrated as a single person longing to discover God’s plan for your life, find comfort in Christ.
Behold, the Lord comes to save his people; blessed are those prepared to meet him. (Today’s Gospel antiphon)